George W. Bush spent the day speaking to the soft-money arm of his campaign, addressing the Victory 2000 team in Austin, Texas. In the campaign's words, "Victory 2000 is the national party building organization of the Republican National Committee (RNC) that supports the entire Republican ticket and is working closely with the George W. Bush for President Campaign." Translation: All those six- and seven-figure corporate donations that can't go directly into the candidate's coffers get laundered through the RNC. The Democrats do exactly the same thing.
"I'm taking nothing for granted," Bush said. "The good news is that I'm leading in the polls. The bad news is that the election isn't tomorrow." Later this week, Bush will discuss after-school programs in New Jersey before appearing alongside Rick Lazio at the Conservative Party Luncheon in New York.
Gore will spend the day in Wisconsin, picking up the endorsement of primary foe Bill Bradley at long last.
Meanwhile, in Mayberry ...
Gore's former tenants from hell, Charles and Tracy Mayberry, are already making their presence known in Lima, Ohio. The couple was moved there from a Tennessee building owned by Gore with help from the Tennessee Republican Party. The conservative site Newsmax.com implied conspiracy earlier this week, with reports that the couple's pets were being slaughtered, presumably by loyalists to the vice president.
"The last straw, [Tracy] said, came when they recently found their dog sick by the roadside after munching on a dead turkey laced with poison, and their cat stretched out in a field behind their house with its throat slit," the story said.
Jake Tapper reports Wednesday that cops in Lima have already been to the couple's home to investigate a domestic violence charge. "The officers were called out there for a fight on July 9 at roughly 12:20 in the afternoon," says Sgt. Patrick Coon of the Lima Police Department. "But there was no report filed. By the time the officers arrived at the scene, nothing was going on." Coon said he didn't know who, if anyone, was fighting.
Gore and Bush, the next generation
As Gore and Bush continue to kick up dust on the campaign trail, their younger surrogates are also getting busy. Earlier this week, George P. Bush, son of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, kicked off a tour on his uncle's behalf that will bring him to 20 college campuses before the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. On Friday, Gore's eldest daughter, Karenna, will speak to the College Democrats of America Convention in Washington.
Hagelin threatens to sue Buchanan campaign in San Francisco
Reform Party candidate John Hagelin, the transcendentalist meditating alternative to Pat Buchanan, was in San Francisco Wednesday, threatening lawsuits against the Buchanan campaign unless it releases its petition-signer list to the Hagelin campaign. The list, which Buchanan submitted to the national Reform Party, was used to determine who received ballots in the Reform Party primary, which is currently underway. Under Reform Party rules, anybody who has signed a petition to qualify a Reform Party candidate for the ballot automatically receives a ballot, but Hagelin says he has "real concerns" that Buchanan simply turned in his list of donors from his time at the GOP instead of bona fide petition signer lists, and is effectively trying to stuff the ballot box with illegal ballots from his supporters.
Dems hit the Playboy Mansion
One of the main events of the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles next month is a fundraiser for Hispanic Unity U.S.A. hosted by Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., at the Playboy Mansion. For a sneak preview of what the event may look like, check out Jake Tapper's cartoon in Roll Call.
Update from the Big Apple
It just ain't the same with Rudy gone. Though the New York Senate race is still one of the great political shows on the airwaves this season, it just isn't the same without one of its marquee names. But you can't blame Republican standard bearer Rick Lazio for trying. In a press release Wednesday his campaign continues the time-honored technique of accusing the other campaign of going negative, then counterpunching with a solid shot to the kidneys.
Touting a new poll that shows the race in a dead heat, the release screams "Negative Blitz Sends Over $1 Million in Clinton Cash Down the Drain.
"Even in the face of this negative barrage [Lazio's] positives jumped from 25 percent to 31 percent since the last Quinnipiac poll. 'Mrs. Clinton and her sidekicks just spent over $1 million dollars to raise her unfavorables, and cut her favorables,' Dal Col said. 'The people of New York have seen through her campaign of smear tactics and mudslinging.'" Poll positions