Friday, December 31, 2004

The Case for Voter Fraud in Ohio

Jesse Jackson continues to lead the efforts to further examine the vote in Ohio. In an interview with Newsweek he makes his case why he believes Kerry really won in Ohio.

Also of note: While Kerry hasn't publically challenged the vote results, behind the scenes he is still directing his legal team to follow up on all fronts. If hard evidence of voter fraud should be discovered, Kerry would likely challenge the result.

Jackson Newsweek Interview >

Thursday, December 30, 2004

More Painful lessons from the 2004 Presidential Campaign

This must read article confirms what I suspected. For all the bloggers and pundits criticizing the Kerry Campaign for their top down approach, I found the opposite was true. Part of Kerry's biggest problem was the over reliance (out of necessity) on 527 voter outreach programs. Kerry's message was muddled by these groups, because by law they could not coordinate with the campaign. They also overlapped precious resources.

Kerry was also hamstrung by the primary process. During a five week period after the Democratic Convention (during which time the GOP launched its harshest Swift Boat attacks, culminating with a bitter nasty anti-Kerry convention) Kerry had to rely on Party spending so he could stretch his $75 million from public financing.

Lastly, this article exposes my greatest pet peeve: the Dems are still woefully behind the GOP in data mining and direct target campaigns. Sure they've made strides, but nowhere near the sophistication of the GOP. (For instance why should it be so difficult to use a centralized email management system which would allow local/state campaign directors to craft more effective messages, in addition to the overall campaigns requests for money, etc)

Lets get to work and fix these problems. It's not rocket science.

READ: GOP Got More Bang For Its Billion, Analysis Shows

IFK Editor

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

In Defense of Kerry's Campaign

Since the sad results of the '04 election, there has been much frustration and venting coming from the far left over Kerry's loss, mainly from those who never liked Kerry as the Presidential choice in the first place. I want to remind these people ranting on and other democratic/progressive blogs that major change doesn't always happen over night.

Kerry is a good man, with a lifelong commitment to progressive values. Complaining he was "for the war" was both inaccurate and shortsighted of his lifetime record and achievements. Your own divisiveness played in to the hands of the Republicans and contributed to the Dems loss.

While I applaud any efforts and discussion toward reforming the DNC and strengthening Democratic state parties to increase our chances in the future, lets not blame Kerry as if he was responsible for the entire state of the Democratic Party.

Lets look at the big picture.

Kerry, his campaign and supporters raised more money and received more votes than any democrat before him and narrowly lost by one state. (Ohio) He also gave more money to the party than any candidate before him.

Was Kerry a perfect candidate? Of course not. Did he make mistakes? Of course, but he was also a steady campaigner who gave it his all. He chose a dynamic running mate, won all three debates, and gave millions of people hope.

Bush and his GOP operatives ran the most negative campaign in history with all the advantages of a war time Presidential incumbent. There was a time in 2002 when Bush's ratings were so high that no one would even enter the race because they thought a Bush win was inevitable. Kerry stepped up and made it as close as it was.

For those critical of Kerry's personality, lets remember that while Clinton was charming, he won his first race with help from Ross Perot (who took like 17% of the vote) during a bad economy. Clinton won a second term against a weak opponent (Dole) in the good times of the economy. Yes Clinton had charisma, but his human faults also sparked a long lasting backlash which the Democrats are still reeling from, thanks to incessant repetition from right wing radio and FOX news.

Until Dems reclaim the "values" issues and middle America voters our candidates (even those with a great smile and charisma - aka, John Edwards) will always be handicapped and playing from behind.

Dems need to think big picture and long term. Our PR machine, think tanks and strategists need to turn up the volume and reframe the issues.

I believe Kerry has a large roll to play in shaping this future as no one understand more than him how tough it is to win against the GOP machine.

IFK Editor
Independents For Kerry

GOP Political Tactics

Here's a light, almost "heartwarming" holiday story about GOP dirty politics at work written cheerfully for the Washington Post right before the New Year. I post this to remind people what we're up against. Among other things GOP consultants repeatedly use GOD as a component in all their strategies and develop simple catchy slogans that stick in your head to define their opponents.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions for moving forward in '06 and '08.

IFK Editor

Posted on Wed, Dec. 29, 2004
GOP campaigner moves to Charleston
By Mike Allen
The Washington Post

There was a school of costumed dolphins - Flipper, Flopper and Flapper - that traveled the Great Lakes region mocking Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. There was a "Kerry on Iraq" DVD showing clips of his evolving statements, framed like dates on a calendar. And there were KerryWrongFor, KerryWrong and Kerry

All were part of the Republican National Committee's year-long effort to use nontraditional media to undermine Kerry's presidential campaign - sometimes viciously, sometimes humorously.

Jim Dyke, the party's outgoing communications director, helped engineer the fusillade by figuring out what to do with all the votes, quotes and other ammunition turned up by his squad of 20 or so researchers.

Officials at the party, who took some of the sharper shots that the Bush-Cheney campaign did not want to fire directly, felt they had an embarrassment of riches. Dyke said part of the puzzle was saving some of the good stuff for later.

"You don't want to put all the dog food in the bowl at one time," he said.

Political operatives typically leave Washington when they have lost, but Dyke is headed for South Carolina next month despite the victory that has many Republicans sticking around to figure out how they can cash in or move up.

The 35-year-old Arkansas native is starting Jim Dyke and Associates (the associates will come later, he hopes) in Charleston, and he intends to remain a capital player through conference calls and BlackBerry messaging.

Dyke, known as "Bear," is seeking a familiar mix of work in public relations, marketing and public affairs.

But his plans show how veterans of President Bush's machine keep promoting his agenda even after they are off the payroll.

To push Bush's proposal to add private accounts to Social Security, Dyke is making one of his first projects the creation of a group called Save My Investment, aimed at 25- to 45-year-olds.

"That demographic, which has paid in a significant amount of money, has a vested interest in changing the system and is a likely constituency to vote on this issue," Dyke said. "This will put a face on people who would benefit from owning part of their retirement."

Monday, December 27, 2004

Bush's Fiscal Policy Disaster

As the dollar continues to plummet under the economic genius of the Bush administration, the middle class squeeze continues unabated. Despite the Bush team's wishful thinking, inflation has already set in with the dollar buying less and less overseas and many currency investors betting heavily against it.

Investment guru Warren Buffett isn't touching the US dollar with a ten foot pole. (Read: Buffett's vote of no confidence in U.S. fiscal policies is up to $20 billion)

Bush and his Republican controlled congress address the problem with eyes wide shut. They continue to run up the national debt, spending today what the next generation will be stuck paying for. To make matters worse Bush wants to make his tax cuts permanent. Heck, Cheney even says that deficits don't matter any more. I guess they don't since Bush's only economic policy seems to be to print more money to cover the debt he's incurred.

Perhaps Bush could explain his plan to the millions of Americans who work all their lives to see their savings accounts and 401K's evaporate with inflation. At least we'll have Social Security to fall back on. Oh, wait, Bush wants to overhall that as well. I'm sure we can trust him to do a good job on that too.

IFK Editor

Friday, December 24, 2004

Kerry Requests Donations for Iraqi Troops

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones enjoying the holidays. I have been thinking a lot about what our community can do to mark the end of what has been an extraordinary year. We have formed bonds of friendship and commitment that I know will extend far into the future.

So, in addition to thanking you once again for all you have done, I'm writing to invite your participation in one final 2004 act of collective generosity. As a soldier, I remember how much it meant to hear from loved ones - especially at the holidays. So, I thought you and I could work together to make it easier for our soldiers serving in Iraq to phone home and hear a friendly voice.

We've found a program that does just that. Operation Phone Home is run by the USO, which has been an extraordinary friend to American soldiers for decades. The USO buys phone cards at cost and provides them to our soldiers free of charge. You can help the USO help our troops this holiday season right here:

In January, I will go to Iraq to see the situation firsthand and personally visit with our courageous troops who are serving America so well. Nothing would please me more than telling them that hundreds of thousands of us have expressed our thanks to them in this concrete and personal way.

Your gift can help a soldier phone home.

In the New Year, I will be writing you about our 2005 projects and priorities. In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy this special time of year. Thanks so much for your constant acts of friendship and your special consideration of this request.

John Kerry

P.S. There are 140,400 U.S. military members serving in Iraq. Any calls they make home to those anxiously awaiting their safe return are at their own expense. A gift of $100 will provide 20 soldiers with a 100-minute phone card. A $1,000 donation would do the same for 200 soldiers. Please help. A friendly and familiar voice can mean so much to a soldier serving America so far away from home.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Letter to Kerry: Stop Bush's Privatization of Social Security

Dear Senator Kerry,

I'm writing to urge you and the Democrats to take action against the President's plan
to privatize part of social security. Democrats must not only show a united front
against it, but offer their own realistic alternatives or I'm afraid the
President may get his way. He's already planning a major PR campaign to promote his plans, so Dems better have one of their own soon.

Looking at some of the possible tax ideas the Bush team is proposing, I
don't see how they can put a percentage of current payroll tax in private
accounts and still pay for the retirees who are promised benefits without
creating more massive debt.

At 32 years old I am worried about the solvency of Social Security, however
it seems to me we already offer similar retirement privatization programs:
401K's and IRA's. While they are not mandatory, they are more in line with Bush's
own "Ownership Society" thinking, as you can choose how much to contribute, and have thousands of options to invest in vs. the few that may be offered should Bush's privatization plan become law.

I advocate for a modified SS plan that adjusts benefits and/or payroll
taxes, but keeps the program functioning mostly as is. This could be done
in conjunction with more 401K and IRA perks and incentives to encourage people to contribute to their individual retirement accounts, (especially younger people). Additional changes might allow early withdrawal options for 401k's/IRA's to offset any future increase in the minimum retirement age for Social Security.

Senator, I hope you will lead the Democratic fight on this issue. We're counting on you.


Jim Witkins
Editor, IFK
Independents For Kerry

Saturday, December 18, 2004

All the Presidents Problems - A blundering start to the second term

(Link) By David Corn LA Weekly Writer

Its back to the problems.

Recent events have once again proved the truism that its easy to run for office, its hard to govern — especially when youre an arrogant fellow pursuing bad policies. For George W. Bush, knocking off John Kerry (news - web sites) was a swagger on the beach compared to dealing with the real stuff. All Bush had to do was lie about Kerry, deride him, make promises he cant keep, talk tough, and mount an under-the-radar effort to motivate millions of fundamentalist Christian voters who (for some reason) obsess over gay marriage. Thats nada compared to, say, winning the war in Iraq (news - web sites).

Once the election dust settled, the Bush gang looked like country-bumpkin first-termers. It botched the appointment of one of the most important Cabinet members: secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The Bush White House did this by racing ahead with Bernard Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner and a Rudy Giuliani crony. Its not only that Bushs vetters missed Keriks nanny problem. They apparently did not even do a Nexis search on the guy. Had they done so, they would have learned he was a nomination disaster waiting to happen. As New York City prisoner commissioner, he had diverted rebates from cigarette sales in prisons to an obscure foundation he ran. He had been entangled with a New Jersey construction firm with alleged mob ties. His leadership of the NYPD after 9/11 was dubbed "scandalous" by John Lehman, a Republican member of the independent 9/11 commission. He had been in charge of police training in Iraq — hardly a triumph. He had an arrest warrant issued against him in conjunction with a civil legal dispute. He was sued, in separate cases, for retaliating against a corrections official who backed a Democrat and against others who were in disputes with a corrections official with whom he was allegedly having an extramarital affair. He had parlayed his political connections and received millions of dollars from a company that did business with the Department of Homeland Security. And there was more. He was lucky he had a nanny he could hide behind.

The Kerik blunder was not the White Houses only Cabinet-level screwup. Bush officials sent clear signals they wanted Treasury Secretary John Snow to hit the road. Then Bush announced Snow was staying put. This was no way for a president to treat the head of his economic team. After all, this is the guy who has to come out before the press and the business community and perform an all-important task: fudge the numbers. Can he do so effectively if hes peeved?

Then Bush got caught tapping the phones of Mohammed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Come on. If youre going to play this game, do it well and dont be found out. Worse (for Bush), the taps produced nothing the White House could use to force ElBaradei out of his post. The Bushies consider him too soft on Iran, and some Bush aides have been angling for his ouster. But they are probably also mad at him because ElBaradei showed them up. Before the invasion of Iraq, ElBaradei and his weapons inspectors declared there were no indications that Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) had been reviving his nuclear weapons program. Yet Bush, Dick Cheney (news - web sites) and their posse had claimed Hussein had been "reconstituting" his nuclear program. Now its clear the International Atomic Energy Agency was right and Bush was wrong. So the obvious response from Bush is, off with his head!

Bush is facing trouble in Iran. Military experts tell me there are few effective military options for the Bush hawks. The Iranian nuclear weapons program — to the extent it exists — is probably dispersed, based in civilian areas and located deep underground. It is no easy target. And Iran — bigger and stronger than Iraq — is not invasion material, especially when U.S. forces are stretched thin next door. So whats a saber-rattling pre-emptionist to do? Ditto for North Korea (news - web sites).

Meanwhile, Iraq is not getting any easier. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld became the administrations Bonehead Number One when he dismissed a soldiers question about the lack of armor for the troops. Throughout the election, the Bush campaign denied Kerrys charge that Bush had not provided enough armor for the troops. Its not too tough to spin reporters; its more difficult to spin unprotected soldiers. And on the first anniversary of Saddam Husseins capture — remember when war backers hailed that development as the beginning of the end of the insurrection? — eight U.S. Marines were killed in different battles in Iraq. In one piece of good news for Bush, this bad news was chronicled by the Washington Post in a brief story on Page A17. (Scott Peterson (news - web sites) still rates more media attention than dead American GIs.) As the January elections approach, the security situation in Iraq appears to be worsening. And the six-mile stretch of highway from the Green Zone in Baghdad to the international airport remains too dangerous for U.S. officials to travel. Doom-and-gloom is the official position of the CIA (news - web sites). The agencys station chief in Baghdad sent a cable in late November — which was leaked within two weeks — that offered a bleak view, noting security in Iraq is likely to deteriorate further. Just in time for the elections. The intelligence reform bill passed by Congress will not be of much help.

Then theres Social Security (news - web sites). For some odd reason, Bush seems to be serious about his promise to partially privatize Social Security. That is, hes still talking about it after the election. There appears to be no way for Bush to enact such a scheme without racking up $2 trillion in transition costs. Bushs tax cuts for the rich are projected to yield trillions of dollars in national debt, yet this explosion of red ink never became a hot topic during the presidential campaign. Will another $2 trillion in Bush-created debt finally pose him political trouble? Perhaps. At the same time, the folks around him have started to hint that retirement benefits may have to drop by 6 percent, even after supposed gains from private accounts are added to the picture. So lets see: more debt, lower benefits. Sounds like a winner. No wonder several Senate Republicans have said they wont support any Social Security legislation unless it is also endorsed by Democrats. They want political cover. Yet the conservative House Republicans have expressed no interest in negotiating with their Democratic colleagues. Can Bush navigate the political land mines? Id rather choke on a pretzel.

During the campaign, I happened to share a long airplane ride with one of Kerrys top advisers. Several hours into our conversation, he told me that every once in a while Kerry would ask him, "What the fuck are we going to do?" Kerry had in mind Iraq and a Kerry victory. Thanks to Ohio, he does not have the burden of devising an answer to his own query. But Bush does — and not merely on Iraq. Hes facing a boatload of ugly challenges and dilemmas. Democrats ought not to be too giddy about this, for Bush has demonstrated that when the going gets tough he is perfectly able to commit gigantic blunders with bad consequences for all and no punishment for him. But he is not going to be able to escape his problems by hitting the campaign trail. As an in-over-his-head president once said, "Its hard work."

Friday, December 17, 2004

Anti-Kerry Group Should Be Held Legally Accountable for their Lies

By Jim Witkins, IFK Editor

Na-nuh-na-nuh-boo-boo is in effect what the Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth" are saying to John Kerry and his supporters when they stage their back slapping love fest in February.

(Read Full Article) For one night only, it'll be spitballs and Swift Boats together on the same stage — a who's who of Sen. John Kerry bashing.

The American Conservative Union on Thursday announced it has tapped Sen. Zell Miller (news, bio, voting record), D-Ga., to present the "Courage Under Fire" award to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth at the Conservative Political Action Conference's Feb. 18 banquet.

Should Kerry decide to run in '08 he must neutralize these Republican funded partisan enemies.

For a start Kerry's team should publicly post all the names and addresses of those connected with this group and make sure their "good deeds" do not go unpunished. Supporters could boycott their businesses at the very least. The Kerry camp could also keep tabs on the Swifties activities and get the word out about their planned events so Kerry supporters could counter their efforts.

Kerry backers should also organize their own counter protest to the sleazy spitball gathering in February. One could easily imagine handing out "Liar of the Year" trophies or something to that effect.

Unfortunately, all the logic and defensive tactics in the world won't undo the damage and distortion to Kerry's reputation. Kerry and his legal team should go after the Swift Boat LIARS with all the legal ammunition they can muster.

Kerry's political future depends on righting this wrong.

While legal action may be unprecedented, it seems like one of the few remaining options, as the press still reports their slander without batting an eye. They only grow more emboldened as time goes on.

Kerry's best option is to bring heavy hitting legal action with real consequences to these Republican shills so they can't operate unchecked. Granted, I'm no lawyer, but what these criminals did was morally repugnant, and now they're having a party to rub our noses in it.

Ohio Voters Refile Election Challenge

(Link)By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS, Associated Press Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Voters who claim problems with Ohio voting machines Nov. 2 indicated fraud refiled a request with the Ohio Supreme Court on Friday to overturn the presidential results

The 37 voters cite reports of machine errors, double-counting of some ballots and a shortage of voting machines in predominantly minority precincts as reasons to throw out the election results.

The challenge is backed by the Rev. Jesse Jackson (news - web sites) and Cliff Arnebeck, a Columbus attorney for the Massachusetts-based Alliance for Democracy, who accused the campaign of President Bush (news - web sites) of "high-tech vote stealing."

The group filed the request Monday, the day the Electoral College (news - web sites) cast votes for Bush. Chief Justice Thomas Moyer of the state Supreme Court threw out the complaint Thursday, saying the voters improperly included a second election challenge in the complaint.

Ohio and its 20 electoral votes were the difference in the presidential race. On Dec. 6, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell declared President Bush the official winner in the state by 119,000 votes over Democrat John Kerry (news - web sites).

Elections officials are conducting a recount at the request of third-party presidential candidates, but neither the Bush nor Kerry campaigns expect it to change the outcome.

With 65 of Ohio's 88 counties reporting final recounts to The Associated Press on Friday, Bush had gained 395 votes and Kerry has gained 554 votes. The running tally accounts for 4.4 million votes cast, or about 74 percent of the total certified vote from the Nov. 2 election.

Officials said hanging chads that came loose when punch-card ballots were handled again or rerun through tallying machines account for most of the additional votes.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Forty voters want Ohio vote tossed out -- Complaint asks Ohio high court to declare Kerry election winner

By JOHN NOLAN, Associated Press Writer

CINCINNATI — A complaint that asks the Ohio Supreme Court to set aside the results of the Nov. 2 election and declare Democrat John Kerry the winner of the state’s 20 electoral votes could face an uphill battle, political analysts said Tuesday.

The complaint filed Monday by 40 Ohio voters cited reports of voting machine errors, double-counting of some ballots and a shortage of voting machines in some majority-black voting precincts as reasons to throw out the election results that showed President Bush winning Ohio, a state crucial to his re-election. The voters said they believe those were indications of election fraud.

The complaint also questioned how the actual election results could show Bush winning the election when exit-poll interview findings on election night indicated that Kerry would win 52 percent of Ohio’s presidential vote.

The Ohio Supreme Court had not ruled on the complaint Tuesday.

Election and voting procedures remain under scrutiny in Ohio, a state where Bush and Kerry frequently campaigned this year.

County election boards across Ohio are doing ballot recounts this week at the request of third-party presidential candidates.

On Tuesday in Akron, U.S. District Judge David D. Dowd Jr. upheld punch-card voting in the nation’s first trial challenging that method of voting.

The American Civil Liberties Union had argued that punch-card machines are not uniform, are outdated in several counties and don’t allow voters to correct mistakes. The ACLU also claimed that Ohio violated the voting rights of blacks, who live predominantly in punch-card counties.

“All voters in a county, regardless of race, use the same voting system to cast a ballot, and no one is denied the opportunity to cast a valid vote because of their race,” Dowd said in a 32-page ruling.

While voting systems might be imperfect, Dowd said, outlawing certain types of voting machines might delay development of improved voting equipment.

A message seeking comment was left at ACLU offices in Cleveland.

Punch-card ballots are used in 69 of 88 Ohio counties, representing nearly 73 percent of registered voters.

Basing the claim before the Ohio Supreme Court on what exit polls indicated is tenuous because the exit-polling predictions turned out to be wrong, political analysts said.

“The exit polls were wrong. They were terribly wrong,” said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist. “These were the same exit polls which had Bush losing Virginia — which he won by a large margin.”

Herb Asher, an Ohio State University political scientist, said election results don’t necessarily reflect exit polls.

“We all know that exit polls can be wrong. Exit polls are basically a sample,” he said.

Asher said Ohio would be better served to review the problems that occurred during the election and find solutions to ensure a smoother election the next time.

Exit poll data was delivered to the National Election Pool — ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and The Associated Press — by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International, which the pool hired to do the exit polling.

“Exit polling should not be confused in any way with the actual vote counts,” Edie Emery, a spokeswoman for the National Election Pool, said Tuesday.

Cliff Arnebeck, a Columbus lawyer for the voters who filed with the Ohio Supreme Court, said it is valid to cite exit polls as a basis for the complaint.

“Exit polling is conducted under the sponsorship of responsible news organizations whose only commitment is to the truth under the highest standards of journalism,” Arnebeck said Tuesday.

“Exit polls by their very nature are not 100 percent accurate,” said Mark Weaver, an attorney for the Ohio Republican Party. “Whenever we talk to a small handful of people and try to extrapolate their views into everybody’s views, there are potential errors.”

The voters named as plaintiffs in the complaint Arnebeck filed said they are registered voters and that they cast ballots in the Nov. 2 presidential election. The complaint doesn’t indicate which candidate they supported.

“It’s not relevant,” Arnebeck said. “Our purpose is not partisan. Our purpose is to get at the truth.”

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Kerry to travel to Iraq, meet with troops

Plans discussions on war on terror
By Glen Johnson, Globe Staff | December 9, 2004

Senator John F. Kerry, who rooted his unsuccessful presidential campaign in an alternate vision of the Iraqi occupation, will visit that nation next month during a swing through the Middle East.

The Massachusetts Democrat is to meet with National Guard troops from Massachusetts, other active-duty armed forces personnel, and others during the tour. The dates of his travel, the length of his stay, and his exact itinerary were being withheld for security purposes.

"He's going because he wants to thank the troops from Massachusetts," said Kerry spokeswoman April Boyd. "While he's there, he'll also be meeting with military commanders, embassy officials, and Iraqi government leaders. The purpose will be to discuss the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism."

Elections in Iraq are scheduled for Jan. 30. During the US presidential campaign, Kerry warned that the Iraqi elections would be hampered if the security situation in the country did not improve.

Prior to his campaign, Kerry made a similiar trip, traveling solo to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and meeting with the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Following that trip, he condemned President Bush and his administration for backing out of the Middle East peace process. He also argued that his personal relationships with the leaders, built over a 20-year career on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, left him in better standing than Bush to win the leaders' support as the United States sought multinational support for the occupation and postwar reconstruction.

During his presidential campaign, Kerry pledged that, as president, he would travel to the United Nations as well as the Middle East to open a new chapter in US foreign relations. Since losing the race in early November, he has largely stayed out of public view, vacationing, attending to Senate business, and, last weekend, traveling to New Hampshire to thank campaign supporters. He has also established a reelection committee and a political action committee to support Democratic candidates across the country.

In addition, he has $15 million remaining in his presidential campaign account, leaving him currently the best-funded candidate should he decide to make another run for the White House.

Kerry also visited London last month, where he spoke to business leaders.

Glen Johnson can be reached at

© Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Kerry will tell Iowans thanks

By Ed Tibbetts

The campaign is over. The campaign has begun. Or so it seemed Monday, when U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., announced he will visit Iowa on Friday.

An aide said the trip is to thank Iowa supporters for their efforts on behalf of Kerry’s 2004 Democratic candidacy for president. But the Friday evening trip surely will fuel speculation that the senator is merely laying down his marker, albeit early, for a 2008 bid.

The 6 p.m. event will be in Des Moines at the Hotel Fort Des Moines, where Kerry held his victory rally the night of the Iowa caucuses. The surprise win in January propelled him to the party’s presidential nomination, but he went on to lose the Hawkeye State to President Bush in the general election by a very narrow margin.

"John Kerry is forever grateful to the thousands of Iowans who set him off on an incredible journey, beginning with a history-making, against-all-odds caucus victory," said David Wade, a spokesman. "The campaign is over, but the fight in our country continues for affordable health care, good jobs, energy independence and a foreign policy that lives up to our values."

Over the weekend, Kerry went to New Hampshire, which holds the country’s first primary election shortly after the caucuses, to thank supporters there, too. But the speech, according to local news reports, sounded more like a campaign-style call to action.

"I feel so passionate about these issues that I am going to use all the energy God gives me to pursue them," Kerry said, according to an account published in the Manchester, N.H.-based Union Leader newspaper.

It also was announced over the past few days that Kerry intends to form a political action committee to help state and local candidates. That often is seen as a way to build support for a candidacy in early primary states.

Asked whether the visit to Iowa should not be taken as a sign of a future bid, Wade said, "It’s a signal that he’s deeply grateful for the hard work and commitment of so many Iowans who stood with him when he was in single digits in every poll." Wade added that Kerry also was saying thanks in Massachusetts.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Kerry creates PAC to back candidates

Aim is to promote campaign's causes
By Glen Johnson, Globe Staff | December 5, 2004

Senator John F. Kerry is establishing a so-called leadership political action committee to promote Democratic candidates at the state and national level, as well as to continue pushing the agenda he promoted during his unsuccessful campaign for the presidency.

The PAC, which has yet to be named, will be based in Boston and headed by John Giesser, a lawyer and former chief operating officer of the City Year community service program.

Giesser is also a veteran political strategist who assisted Kerry with his 1996 reelection race and served as the number two general election strategist at the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns. He formerly worked at the Dewey Square Group, a Boston political consulting firm, and is a close ally of both Michael Whouley and John Sasso, two veteran strategists who headed the DNC's general election efforts at various points in the 2004 campaign.

The new organization will be separate from a reelection committee Kerry recently established, Friends of John Kerry, but it will share the same focus as a leadership PAC the Massachusetts Democrat established in 2002, the Citizen Soldier Fund. Like its predecessor, it will promote candidates and causes that dovetail with Kerry's political goals. During his presidential campaign, Kerry pledged to expand access to health insurance and to protect the environment, among other goals.

A leadership PAC is a committee organized by a political figure, as opposed to one set up by corporations or labor unions.

Presidential candidates often use such committees to build friendships in early voting presidential states. Giesser insisted that Kerry was not focused on another run for the presidency in 2008, but instead on bolstering Democratic organizational efforts through an emphasis on electing the party's candidates up and down the ticket, training Democratic operatives, and continuing efforts to organize the party on a precinct-by-precinct basis.

Kerry has separately tapped some of the $15 million remaining in his presidential campaign account to provide $200,000 for Democratic recount efforts in the Washington gubernatorial race, as well as $50,000 to support the party's candidates in runoff elections in Louisiana.

Giesser said he was unsure whether Kerry would use any of his presidential money to seed his new political action committee. He said the senator plans a series of fund-raisers to finance the organization.

"We just finished a campaign," Giesser said in a telephone interview. "This is a leadership organization, an organization that is based on the vision and ideas that John Kerry will continue to fight for and that many millions of Americans support. Through this organization, John Kerry and all those who volunteered on behalf of the Democratic ticket can continue to build the Democratic Party at the grass roots, speak out, promote new policies, hold Republicans accountable, and support Democratic candidates at all levels."

Glen Johnson can be reached at

Kerry, in NH visit, sounds a lot like a candidate

Sunday News Staff

MANCHESTER — It sounded like the opening bars of a new campaign song, not an elegy to a lost election.

U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry last night delivered a rousing call to action to a room filled with hundreds of supporters at the Center of New Hampshire Radisson Hotel.

“Keep up the fight. Keep New Hampshire blue forever,” Kerry shouted, referring to the red/blue color code that television networks used to differentiate between states won by Republican President George W. Bush and those where Democrat Kerry was victorious.

In the Nov. 2 election, New Hampshire was the only state won by Kerry that had been carried by Bush four years ago. Kerry defeated Bush here by about 9,300 votes.

Kathy Sullivan, state Democratic Party chair, has credited the groundswell for Kerry with netting the party the gubernatorial victory of John Lynch; an Executive Council seat, with the election of Debora B. Pignatelli of Nashua in District 5; two state Senate seats; and 30 new Democratic state representatives.

Kerry spoke last night in the armory room at the hotel, the same room where Democratic candidate Al Gore came out of hibernation after his defeat to Bush in 2000 to thank his New Hampshire supporters.

The Massachusetts senator, slightly more than a month after the election he had felt sure he would win, came out swinging, in a call to keep up the fight for the issues that characterized his campaign.

“I feel so passionate about these issues that I am going to use all the energy God gives me to pursue them,” Kerry said.

Referring to GOP voter registration challenges in Ohio that may have cost him that state’s vital electoral votes, Kerry said, “We’re going to clearly bring (attention to) the rights of American people to vote without being harassed.”

“It is a disgrace that we have partisanly run elections in states where people don’t have faith in the outcome. We need to make sure all votes are properly recorded.”

Referring to issues that are of continuing concern to him, Kerry said he senses “an energy” and “the same passion” across the country to continue those fights.

“We brought together millions of people on the Internet and we’re going to continue to grow this,” he said.

Kerry said he has hired John Giesser, an experienced Democratic strategist, to work on the national level to “get our energy together.”

In Washington yesterday it was announced that Kerry is forming a political action committee that will allow him to donate to Democrats in local, congressional and gubernatorial races in the next two years, as well as support his agenda on the environment, health care, energy and Social Security. The PAC will be based in Boston and headed by Giesser, who worked on Kerry’s 1996 Senate race and on presidential campaigns since 1984.

Kerry spokesman David Wade said $200,000 has been sent to support another recount in the Washington governor’s race. Democrat Republican Dino Rossi was certified as the winner Tuesday, but Democrat Chris Gregoire was only 42 votes behind.

Kerry also wired $50,000 to Louisiana, where Democrats are running in two run-off races in contests where no candidate won a majority in last month’s election.

That money came from the $14 million left over from his campaign’s primary race fund. Kerry did not spend that money while running against other Democrats early in the year and wasn’t able to spend it in the general election against Bush.

That money cannot be transferred to the yet-unnamed leadership PAC. Wade said Kerry will raise money to fill the PAC’s coffers, but doesn’t have a target amount in mind.

Kerry entered the hall at 8 p.m. in an entourage led by former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and her husband, Bill, both of whom worked in his Presidential campaign. Gov. Shaheen, Manchester Mayor Bob Baines and Governor-elect John Lynch addressed the gathering prior to Kerry’s remarks.

To the cheers of those who volunteered and contributed to his campaign in New Hampshire, Kerry announced he will go to Iraq in January and he promised to “continue to fight for a foreign policy that lives up to the values of this country.”

He said, “Life is an on-going struggle and you were with me and we are going to take that fight on to the country. . . .

“You folks, in New Hampshire and Iowa, led the way.

“To all of you, Teresa and I give our thanks. You are all family.”

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Kerry Campaign Defends Leftover $14 Million

The spokesman for Mr. Kerry, David Wade, strongly defended the decision in a statement on Friday.

"We reserved resources to go toe-to-toe with Karl Rove's army in a scorched-earth World War III recount battle in as many as five states," Mr. Wade said. "We weren't going to be outspent or outhustled in the event of a recount."

Kerry aides also point out that the senator set a record for a presidential challenger by raising $249.5 million and that the campaign gave tens of millions of dollars to the Democratic Party at all levels.

Almost $24 million was transferred to the Democratic National Committee through late November, and its counterparts in the House and Senate received $3 million each, according to PoliticalMoneyLine, which tracks campaign finance. Additional money went to Democratic organizations and state parties around the country.

Campaign finance laws allow the presidential candidate to give money to other members of his party or to the party itself or to use in another federal race. Aides say Mr. Kerry will help Senate Democrats.

"Since the election, we've aided the critical gubernatorial recount in Washington State and contributed to the runoff elections in Louisiana," Mr. Wade said, referring to runoffs for the House taking place on Saturday.

The $14 million, which was in the account Mr. Kerry used in the Democratic primaries, would have augmented the roughly $7 million in a special account earmarked for legal and accounting expenses, which could have been used for a recount. Mr. Bush had about $15.6 million in a similar account.

Mr. Kerry spent all but about $1 million of the $75 million of public money in his general election account, and had almost $2 million in debt.

Full text

Narrower Bush Win Seen in Ohio

By Brian Faler
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, December 4, 2004; Page A03

President Bush's margin of victory in the all-important battleground state of Ohio appears to have been closer than previously believed.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Associated Press, which conducted separate county-by-county surveys of the final election results there, found that Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry netted more than 17,000 votes in the post-Election Day ballot count. That would shrink the president's margin there from about 136,000 to 119,000 -- or about 2 percent of the 5.5 million ballots cast.

A spokesman for the Ohio secretary of state said the media finding "seems to be accurate" but otherwise declined to comment on the reports because the state will not disclose its official election results until Monday. That tally will include provisional and absentee ballots that were collected, analyzed and counted after the election.

Carlo LoParo, the spokesman, estimated that 77 percent of the 155,000 provisional ballots cast in the Buckeye State were ultimately counted. The remainder were discarded -- usually, he said, because the voter had not registered to vote.

But the state's official tally will not be the final word on the election. A pair of third-party presidential candidates, who complain that reports of election irregularities there have been ignored, are expected to formally request a recount of the presidential vote next week.

Meanwhile, Rep. John Conyers Jr. (Mich.) and nine other Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have written to Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell (R), asking him to respond to a list of reports of problems at the polls on Nov. 2. "We are concerned that these complaints constitute a troubled portrait of a one-two punch that may well have altered and suppressed votes, particularly minority and Democratic votes," the letter said.

LoParo denied that there were significant problems at Ohio's polls but said Blackwell would respond to the lawmakers' inquiry. "We certainly answer our mail," he said.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Kerry vows every vote will be counted

Some left leaning groups and people still insist Kerry isn't doing all he can to recount votes in Ohio. They are misinformed. The following links and article clearly highlight how Kerry and his campaign team are on it.

Kerry's Video Message to Supporters - at

Watch John Kerry's message on November 9, 2004 concerning the Election, election reform and what he will be fighting for in the next years of the Bush Administration.

Kerry backs recount effort (12/2/2004)

Seattle Post-Intelligencer Thu, 02 Dec 2004 0:28 AM PST

OLYMPIA -- Former presidential candidate John Kerry contributed at least $200,000 of unused campaign contributions yesterday to help fellow Democrat Christine Gregoire keep the governor's race alive and pay for a statewide hand recount.

Kerry campaign won't surrender

WorldNet Daily Wed, 01 Dec 2004 2:13 PM PST

Though Election Day was almost one month ago and Sen. John Kerry conceded the presidential race, his campaign is still not giving up in Ohio, the state which gave President Bush enough electoral votes for re-election.


Kerry plans return to NH Saturday to thank workers

The Union Leader and NewHampshire Sunday News Wed, 01 Dec 2004 9:12 PM PST

MANCHESTER — Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts will visit New Hampshire Saturday, a little more than a month after he captured the state in his unsuccessful race for the Presidency.