Gore gives room service to Judge Judy

Plus: Ralph Nader, Georgia gun shows and the effectiveness of negative ads.


Anthony York
July 12, 2000 10:59PM (UTC)

Gore to Judge Judy: Sorry, muffin If you should ever find yourself on "Today" when the vice president is also visiting NBC, heres some advice from Judge Judy: Be sure to eat something first. The hungry first lady of television justice arrived at NBC studios Monday to find out that the networks Green Room was in Secret Service security lockdown. "I think that the vice president ought to get me a muffin. In fact, I think he should get me several muffins," her honor told "Todays" Matt Lauer. Never one to miss a chane to woo a voter or shake that pesky Pinocchio image, Gore then emerged on bended knee, offering the judge a tray brimming with muffins. "That almost makes up for it," she said.

More Big Al Attacks
Al Gores fax machines once again spent the day flooding the faxes of the national media with his new attack scheme. Yet again, Gore criticized the "do-nothing-for-people Congress," and called on Bush to help pass a federal patients bill of rights and key environmental legislation. Since the weekend, linking Bush to congressional Republicans has been the priority for the Gore campaign. Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer responded earlier this week by saying the vice president was once again trying to shift the blame for his own administrations failure to get key bills through the GOP-controlled Congress.

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If you're tired of political attacks, whether they come from Bush or Gore, you may be out of luck. The Annenberg 2000 Survey of the American Electorate delivered the bad news for people who don't like negative campaign ads -- they work. "A little misleading information about a candidate can go a long way," reports the Associated Press, which said the report "suggests voters can be heavily influenced by such claims."

Show me the money
To help pay for those ads, Roll Call is reporting that the DCCC will show it has $37.4 million on hand when its June 30 reports are filed with the Federal Election Commission this month. The story says the Dems have over $13 million more than their Republican counterparts, and that's far more than the amount raised by either party at this time in the most recent election cycles. "The cash-on-hand figure is nearly 10 times the amount that the House Democratic campaign arm posted in its war chest at this point in the 1998 campaign cycle, and almost seven times what it showed in the bank at the end of June 1996."

According to the Center for Responsive Politics' most recent Money in Politics alert, both parties will be shelling out big bucks for their upcoming nominating conventions. The 2000 GOP Convention has a price tag of more than $50 million, or almost $20 million more than Republicans spent for the 1996 event. By comparison, Democrats, who gather in Los Angeles roughly one month from today, plan to spend about $35 million on their convention, or about $5 million more than four years ago.

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All told, the parties combined will spend at least $85 million on their respective shindigs, a healthy sum of money for an event that has drawn a collective yawn from the major TV networks. Some of that price tag will be covered by federal funds -- $13.3 million for each of the parties, to be exact -- while Democrats and Republicans are depending on some generous corporate donors for the rest.

Its Pat!
The volunteer Buchanan Brigade e-mail list was also in full force Tuesday, with news that Pat Buchanan has qualified for the ballot in Georgia. Georgia Buchanan backer Glenn Jackson thanked the volunteer core for "working gun shows, flea markets, shopping centers -- you name it -- in this Georgia heat" to ensure Buchanans name would appear on the November ballot.

In other third-party news, members of the dialogue about the Ralph Nader issue, or problem, depending on your perspective on the Web pages of the The American Prospect. In the exchange, Micah Sifry and Joshua Micah Marshall kick around the idea of a Nader presidential run, not to mention Nader himself.

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Poll positions

  • Gore 46 to Bush 45 (Newsweek June 29-30).
  • Bush 52 to Gore 39 (CNN/Gallup/USA Today June 23-25).
  • Bush 40 to Gore 39 (Associated Press June 21-25).
  • Bush 49 to Gore 41 (NBC/Wall Street Journal June 14-18).
  • Bush 52 to Gore 40 (Voter.com June 11-13).
  • Bush 50 to Gore 40 (Los Angeles Times June 8-13).
  • Bush 47 to Gore 39 (Zogby June 9-12).
  • Bush 49 to Gore 45 (ABC News/Washington Post June 8-11).

    Sound off
    E-mail Trail Mix with your comments, suggestions and tips at alicia@salon.com.


  • Anthony York

    Anthony York is Salon's Washington correspondent.

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