Friday, October 29, 2004

The Bush Platform

George Bush is running for President...

But all he does is attack John Kerry. It's been said over and over again that Bush does not have a platform on the issues...

Well his platform was spotted somewhere in Wisconsin!


Blogger Joey Bee said...

Kerry Uses Incomplete Report To Attack President; NBC Embeds Debunk Missing Weapons Story. If this was John Kerry's October Surprise, it fell a little flat. We're talking about the now de-bunked New York Times report Monday about missing explosives in Iraq - the story John Kerry used to launch a full-scale attack on the president. But it turns out the NYT report was just plain wrong. Seems NBC News had reporters embedded with the military when troops arrived at the weapons facility from which these explosives supposedly disappeared, but reported on April 10, 2003 that the facility didn't have any of the high explosives crowed about in the NYT report.

Does John Kerry's assault on the president over these Iraqi explosives really make any sense? He says they're gone because we didn't have the troops there, but we know the explosives weren't even there in the first place because... we had the troops there! So which is it Mr. Kerry?

While forged documents, partisan activists and missing weapons reports all qualify as 'news' when they're designed to bring down a president, the establishment media are mostly in the tall grass when it comes to reports critical of John Kerry. Most media elites enthusiastically glommed on to the false NYT report on Iraqi explosives, but they responded with a collective yawn to authenticated reports that John Kerry out-and-out lied about having met with the entire UN Security Council in 2002. Sort of suggest that John Kerry lying isn't news, but that's mighty cynical.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When President Bush addressed the Republican National Convention last month, the biggest television audience wasn't tuned to ABC, CBS or NBC. Instead, the largest single group of viewers was glued to Fox News, the cable news channel that was only a blip on TV's radar screen just four years ago.

A number of recent polls have shown that the most influential source of political news among younger viewers is ``The Daily Show'' -- the satirical fake news show hosted by comedian Jon Stewart, who has recently admitted on his own show that he is Pro-Kerry. Candidly John Stewart has stated that he will fabricate any story he has to, to 'steal' votes away from Bush, and get laughs from my fellow pot smokers. “I can believe so many young people watch my show, and actually believe what I say”, Stewart said on a recent appearance on a local radio station. Stewart went on to say, “When republicans realize I hate Bush, they turn the channel. When democrats see my bias, they stay tuned. But the best part is when the election is over; America's retarded youth will forget all I have said.”

6:19 PM  
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6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6:28 PM  
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6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These efforts are unparalleled in U.S. history and should gravely concern anyone who cares about the future of open politics in this country. The methods employed by the Democrats this year are far worse than any tactics used against the Progressive Party's Henry A. Wallace in 1948 or against Eugene J. McCarthy, who waged a forlorn independent bid for the White House in 1976.

Many of the legal challenges filed by the Democrats this summer have been simply frivolous in nature, deliberately designed to harass the consumer activist and drain his campaign's dwindling resources. Former Democratic congressman Toby Moffett, a corporate lobbyist in D.C. and co-founder of something called Ballot Project, Inc. was quoted in the Washington Post: 'We wanted to neutralize [Nader's] campaign by forcing him to spend money and resources defending these things. But much to our astonishment we've actually been more successful than we thought we'd be in stopping him from getting on at all. -

Democratic efforts to knock Nader off the ballot this year are unprecedented, but major party interference in third-party presidential campaigns is hardly a new phenomenon. In the razor-thin 1884 presidential election, the two major parties manipulated the Anti-Monopoly Party's Benjamin Butler and Prohibitionist John St. John. In one of the dirtiest presidential campaigns in American history, the Democrats, anxious to regain the White House, put tremendous pressure on Butler to withdraw from the contest, essentially offering the former Massachusetts governor his choice of cabinet post in Grover Cleveland's administration. Meanwhile, the Republicans, fearing that the Prohibition Party's St. John would take votes from their candidate, desperately tried to bribe him to drop out of the race, while simultaneously secretly funding Butler's third-party candidacy in the hope that he would siphon enough votes from Cleveland to throw the election to James G. Blaine, the Republican candidate.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Joey Bee said...

Remarks made by Senator John F. Kerry at the UNITY 2004 Conference in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

“I believe I can fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values in history.”

6:41 PM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

It's a little late to quote the NBC embeds to try to defend Bush. The NBC reporter which the Bush campaign tried to quote to defend Bush has stated he was misquoted and has supported the accusations against Bush. The subsequent films from a local TV station further demonstrated that the weapons were present after Saddam fell and not properly guarded despite warnings to the Bush administration.

The comments above regarding the legal challenges are similarly untrue, ignoring what is turning out to be a systemic effort of the Republicans to restrict voting in Democratic areas and among minorities expected to vote Democratic.

As for Nader, what is really unprecidented is the efforts of Republicans to bank roll a campagin in order to attempt to take votes away from their opponent.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

Tip of the iceberg
As I learned while embedded in Iraq, the highly lethal explosives stolen from Al Qaqaa are just a fraction of the mountain of poorly secured munitions that could be turned against U.S. soldiers and citizens.

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By David J. Morris

Oct. 26, 2004 | Monday's New York Times contained a front-page story describing the disappearance of nearly 380 tons of high-powered explosives from a sensitive weapons cache outside Baghdad known as Al Qaqaa. "60 Minutes" plans to air a story on the subject Sunday evening, one day and a wake-up call before the election gets underway. Given that the types of explosive materials that have gone missing are essential in the manufacture of nuclear weapons and car bombs and that they were used in several high-profile terrorist bombings -- including the 1988 downing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland -- this untimely revelation could be the much-prophesied, but so far missing in action October surprise. Hoping to capitalize on the story and sully President Bush's self-styled image as the ultimate enemy of terror, John Kerry described Al Qaqaa as "one of the great blunders of Iraq, one of the great blunders of this administration."

However disturbing this story, what the New York Times and CBS News have overlooked so far is that the missing munitions at Al Qaqaa are only the tip of the iceberg and in all likelihood represent a mere fraction of the illicit explosive material currently circulating in Iraq. Having personally toured weapons caches comparable in scale to Al Qaqaa and seen similar ordnance in the process of being converted into roadside bombs at an insurgent hideout, I believe that the theft and redistribution of conventional explosives and weapons represent the largest long-term threat to American troops in Iraq. Strangely enough, it is likely that dealing with this conventional weapons threat, rather than eradicating the mythical unconventional WMD threat, will be the U.S. legacy in Iraq.

In mid-May, halfway through my brief tenure as an embedded reporter in Iraq, I found myself stuck in what was generally considered to be a dismal backwater of the war, a logistics base far from the action known as Camp Taqaddum, or "TQ" as the Marines call it. Like a fool, I was anxious to get to Fallujah, where I was scheduled to link up with a Marine infantry battalion, and I pressed the media liaison officer to whom I was assigned, a spry female captain named Kristen Lasica, to hook me up with a convoy bound for the fray. Somewhere, anywhere but TQ, I thought.

Sensing an opportunity for some free advertising, Capt. Lasica suggested that I head out to this really bizarre Iraqi weapons stockpile that some of the military engineers were sorting through on the outskirts of the camp. One of her corporals, a Marine combat correspondent, was already heading out that way, so why didn't I just tag along? (I later learned she had been pitching the story to passing journalists for months, but they always seemed preoccupied with the Fallujah problem or Abu Ghraib.)

After some searching, we eventually arrived at the copiously sandbagged headquarters of the U.S. Army's 120th Engineer Battalion, a National Guard unit from Oklahoma that is responsible for the Taqaddum weapons cache, or CEA (captured enemy ammunition) site for short. As I would later learn, the 120th had, for all intents and purposes, become the caretaker of Saddam Hussein's grotesque legacy in western Iraq: a vast, murky labyrinth of bunkers, tunnels and sandpits that contain a staggering menagerie of exotic bombs, bullets, shells, mines, missiles and torpedoes. All told, there are 103 known sites in the 120th's sector, encompassing approximately 100,000 of the estimated 600,000 tons of high-density explosives strewn across Iraq.

The soldiers of the 120th have inspected 64 of these so far and have, as of the last reporting, destroyed 12,000 tons of Iraqi ordnance. Capt. Elmer Bruner Jr., 41, of Bixby, Okla., one of the officers in charge of the disposal effort, described the undertaking as "a multiyear project that I expect to turn over to our replacements in a year's time having only completed a fraction of the work." Later, as I learned more about the scope of the task they faced and considered the similar endeavors I had read about in Afghanistan and Bosnia, I blurted out, "This looks more like a multigenerational job." Bruner glumly nodded his head.

Indeed, the breadth and depth of the problem of captured weapons in Iraq are difficult to definitively assess, let alone describe, and whenever I pressed Bruner for clearer answers, he would simply shrug and say, "There's so many things that we just don't know." About the only thing he could tell me for sure was that the 120th is just taking the first steps in what will be an extremely long process of disarming the Iraqi countryside.

To visit a captured weapons site the likes of which I saw at Taqaddum is to witness the byproducts of unfathomable delusion and malfeasance and to parse the chilling dreams of a lost regime with an unquenchable desire for ever-larger and more grandiose weaponry and death-dealing machinery. Surveying the kaleidoscope of munitions at Taqaddum, I could discern no real rhyme or reason to it at all. There were scores of 6,000-pound anti-ship bombs of Chinese manufacture, for which the Iraqis never possessed aircraft capable of lifting. Strewn throughout the maze of bunkers and sandpits were hundreds of bombs of South African, Chilean, Soviet, West German, Yugoslav, Czech and U.S. origin, almost all of them sitting on wooden pallets, left to the mercy of the elements and the wild dogs that haunt the place.

Much of this ammunition was decades old. Many of the bullets and bombs found at Taqaddum corresponded to weapon systems that have been obsolete for decades. It was as if someone had given their crazy uncle $10 billion and said, "Buy whatever you want, so long as it explodes." The tour guide for this potpourri of death, Capt. Bruner, mentioned that the Russians had probably been dumping untold amounts of obsolete ordnance on the Iraqis for years, exploiting Saddam's compulsive desire for power to obtain cold, hard cash.

The threat posed by stockpiles like those I saw at Taqaddum is disconcerting, but what makes the situation infinitely worse is the realization that of the 103 weapon sites that the United States is aware of in western Iraq, only a handful are ever guarded on a regular basis, which means that insurgents bent on killing Americans have easily accessible and free material with which to make bombs of all sorts. Understandably, Bruner wouldn't give me an exact figure on how many of the sites are monitored at any given time, but it was abundantly clear that he and all of the soldiers of the 120th Engineer Battalion were doing the best they could with the limited resources that they had. (Most of the Marines' engineers have been tasked with locating and defusing roadside bombs that are found by infantrymen operating in the cities, a duty that saves countless American lives but still leaves the lion's share of the work to the 120th.)

The plight of the 120th is emblematic of the U.S. military's larger problem: There simply aren't enough American soldiers in Iraq to guard and dispose of all of the weapons stockpiles we know of, and even if there were they would have to be in place for decades to ensure that the country was picked clean of weapons. This is, arguably, one of the foremost drawbacks of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's transformational strategy for conquering Iraq: When the initial combat phase was concluded there weren't enough troops to saturate and pacify the entire country.

Adding to the 120th's woes, many of the caches that were uncovered immediately following the successful conquest of Iraq last year were improperly handled and surveyed; in some cases troops attempted to blow up the munitions where they found them, inadvertently scattering unexploded bomb material in all directions. Cleaning up such sites further complicates an already Byzantine enterprise.

Regarding the general situation of unaccounted-for explosives, physicist and weapons expert Ivan Oelrich, a former consultant for the U.S. Army and now with the Federation of American Scientists, put it this way: "I'll bet if you took all the car bombs that have gone off in Iraq in the past six months and tallied them, [they] would add up to a couple of tons of high explosives. So if they're doing what they're doing with two or three tons, what difference does it make if they have 380 more?"

Without being cavalier about the weapons loss at Al Qaqaa, it is crucial to remember that the cache is just one repository among thousands in Iraq. The real and persistent danger is that America's continued mismanagement of the arms caches across Iraq is arming and equipping the very enemy the United States is dedicated to destroying and providing a key service to the insurgency.

In discussing Iraq, it is easy to overuse Vietnam analogies, but it is nevertheless worth remembering that one of the key developments in the early stages of that war occurred in early 1962 when the Viet Cong began acquiring stolen U.S. small arms through the black market. For a budding insurgency beginning to solidify its movement, there are few things more invigorating than a sudden inrush of weapons and equipment. In the larger context of a shifting battlefield, such a development is oftentimes a catalyst for an even wider and deadlier war.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

About the writer
David J. Morris is a former Marine officer and the author of "Storm on the Horizon: Khafji -- The Battle that Changed the Course of the Gulf War" (Free Press). He was embedded with the Marines in Fallujah, Iraq, in May and June 2004.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS video may be linked to missing explosives in Iraq
Updated: 10/28/2004 08:24:30 PM - VIDEO

A 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crew in Iraq shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein was in the area where tons of explosives disappeared, and may have videotaped some of those weapons.

The missing explosives are now an issue in the presidential debate. Democratic candidate John Kerry is accusing President Bush of not securing the site they allegedly disappeared from. President Bush says no one knows if the ammunition was taken before or after the fall of Baghdad on April 9, 2003 when coalition troops moved in to the area.

Using GPS technology and talking with members of the 101st Airborne Division, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has determined the crew embedded with the troops may have been on the southern edge of the Al Qaqaa installation, where the ammunition disappeared. The news crew was based just south of Al Qaqaa, and drove two or three miles north of there with soldiers on April 18, 2003.

During that trip, members of the 101st Airborne Division showed the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS news crew bunker after bunker of material labelled "explosives." Usually it took just the snap of a bolt cutter to get into the bunkers and see the material identified by the 101st as detonation cords.

"We can stick it in those and make some good bombs." a soldier told our crew.

There were what appeared to be fuses for bombs. They also found bags of material men from the 101st couldn't identify, but box after box was clearly marked "explosive."

In one bunker, there were boxes marked with the name "Al Qaqaa", the munitions plant where tons of explosives allegedly went missing.

Once the doors to the bunkers were opened, they weren't secured. They were left open when the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crew and the military went back to their base.

"We weren't quite sure what were looking at, but we saw so much of it and it didn't appear that this was being secured in any way," said photojournalist Joe Caffrey. "It was several miles away from where military people were staying in their tents".

Officers with the 101st Airborne told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the bunkers were within the U.S. military perimeter and protected. But Caffrey and former 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Reporter Dean Staley, who spent three months together in Iraq, said Iraqis were coming and going freely.

"At one point there was a group of Iraqis driving around in a pick-up truck,"Staley said. "Three or four guys we kept an eye on, worried they might come near us."

On Wednesday, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS e-mailed still images of the footage taken at the site to experts in Washington to see if the items captured on tape are the same kind of high explosives that went missing in Al Qaqaa. Those experts could not make that determination.

The footage is now in the hands of security experts to see if it is indeed the explosives in question.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just Another Political Yard Sign........... if you live on the beach.


Link to it at our site:

7:31 PM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

Judge Rebuffs GOP Effort To Contest Voters in Ohio

By Jo Becker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 28, 2004; Page A01

A U.S. District Court judge yesterday effectively ended efforts by Republicans in Ohio to challenge the eligibility of tens of thousands of voters in one of the most closely contested states in this year's presidential race.

Judge Susan J. Dlott in Cincinnati issued an order preventing local election boards from going forward with plans to notify challenged voters and hold hearings until she hears legal arguments tomorrow. But because her ruling means that those election board hearings cannot take place within the time frame state law requires before the election, Dlott's ruling kills the GOP effort that had targeted 35,000 voters, Democratic and Republican party officials said.

David Sullivan, director of the Democratic Party's Voter Protection Program in Ohio, praised the ruling and said the GOP was never able to offer proof that the challenged voters were ineligible. "The Republican assault on tens of thousands of Ohio voters was an unprecedented effort to intimidate voters, especially minorities, but, it has backfired," he said.

Mark Weaver, a lawyer for the Ohio Republican Party, said yesterday's ruling does not prevent the party from going forward with plans to place 3,400 monitors in polling places, particularly in heavily Democratic urban areas. The challenges will take place Tuesday instead of being decided beforehand, he said.

States allow political parties to monitor polls and challenge someone's eligibility. In Ohio, the challenge is considered by a bipartisan election board.

"The ironic twist here is that now there will be longer lines [at the polls] because questions about voter eligibility will have to be decided on Election Day, rather than ahead of time," Weaver said.

A spokesman for Ohio's secretary of state, J. Kenneth Blackwell ®, who was named in the lawsuit, said he will not appeal the ruling. Election officials in Cuyahoga County, where most of challenges were filed, said they will not appeal either.

Both parties have been engaged in intense legal wrangling over election laws this year as they look for every possible edge in states where polls show the presidential race too close to call. They have fought over provisional ballots -- given to voters whose names do not appear on rolls at polling sites -- and how to determine their validity and how quickly the ballots should be counted. And they have battled at the polls identification rules, and procedures for early voting, a process in many states -- such as Florida -- that has allowed more than 1.3 million people to have already voted.

Ohio was part of an effort in many battleground states by Republicans to prepare to challenge voter registrations as Election Day approaches.

It was the second time that the GOP has lost on the issue. In Nevada, another battleground, Clark County election officials rejected an attempt this month by the former executive director of that state's GOP to challenge 17,000 voters in the Las Vegas area.

Dlott's ruling could alleviate the possibility of massive disruptions in the last days of the campaign. Cuyahoga County, where about 17,000 of the challenged voters reside, was planning a mass hearing on Saturday.

The legal setback has not deterred GOP officials, who say that challenges are necessary to safeguard the election against fraud.

In Florida, the GOP has filed plans to place poll watchers at 5,000 polling places, spokeswoman Mindy Tucker Fletcher said. Whether those observers will challenge individual voters depends on the circumstances, she said. "If there's something blatant, we may choose to do that," she said.

In Denver, election officials said the Republican Party told them it plans to have 350 poll watchers to challenge voters there. "This is a very organized, very intense effort," said Alan McBeth of the Denver Election Commission. "If it becomes abusive, we may have to step in and say this is out of hand."

Tom Josefiak, the Bush campaign's general counsel, said in a recent interview that challenges would be conducted in a non-intimidating manner that would not disrupt voting.

Democrats, however, argue that the real aim of the challenge program is to keep voters likely to support Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), particularly minorities, from casting ballots.

Bob Bauer, a lawyer for the Democratic National Committee, said Democrats also will have large numbers of poll watchers. But he said, "our watchers will be there to help voters, not to hinder them, to answer their questions, not to question them."

In Florida, Republican poll watchers will be disproportionately concentrated in minority precincts, according to a Democratic Party analysis of census data and GOP plans filed in five counties. In Miami-Dade, 59 percent of predominately black precincts will have at least one GOP poll watcher, compared with 37 percent in white precincts.

While Fletcher did not dispute those numbers, she said that the party was not singling out black neighborhoods, but rather heavily Democratic ones. "Those are the places most likely for the Democrats . . . to try to steal the election," she said.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

Nader's "illegal" GOP backers
Right-wing groups -- and Bush-Cheney '04 -- may have violated federal campaign law to help get Ralph Nader on the ballot in Oregon.

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By Joe Conason

June 29, 2004 | A Washington watchdog group is charging that Ralph Nader's presidential campaign benefited from "illegal" assistance provided by right-wing organizations -- at the behest of his supposed opponents in the Bush-Cheney campaign.

According to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington -- whose name sounds as if Nader could once have been its founder -- the Nader presidential campaign received illicit assistance for its petition drive in Oregon last weekend from two local conservative organizations, which were "encouraged" by President Bush's campaign committee.

Melanie Sloan, CREW's executive director, plans to file a complaint on Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission, charging that Nader and his conservative enablers in Oregon violated the federal statute prohibiting corporate contributions to presidential candidates.

Accused in Sloan's complaint along with the Nader and Bush campaigns will be Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Oregon Family Council, whose leaders have acknowledged that they are trying to help the "independent" gadfly win a place on the state's November presidential ballot. The two conservative groups admit that they are backing President George W. Bush, and quite frankly describe Nader as nothing more than a convenient instrument to drain support from Democrat John Kerry in a closely fought battleground state.

In recent weeks, the Oregon conservative groups deployed their phone banks to contact Republican voters, urging them to attend a Nader rally in Portland on Saturday, where the candidate's organizers sought to gather enough signatures to place him on the ballot. Although only 1,000 valid signatures are needed, the Nader campaign had already tried once and failed last April, when only 750 voters showed up at a similar event. On Saturday, with CSE and OFC phoning and organizing their members to rally behind Nader, more than 1,150 voters turned out and signed the petition.

As Russ Walker of Citizens for a Sound Economy explained, "We disagree with Ralph Nader's politics, but we'd love to see him make the ballot." Walker even posted a "phone script" on his group's Web site that offered activists talking points to convince their fellow conservatives to sign Nader petitions.

Mike White, director of the Oregon Family Council, which focuses on social issues such as abortion and gay rights, was equally candid: "We aren't bashful about [aiding Nader]. We are a conservative, pro-family organization, and Bush is our guy on virtually every issue."

But Sloan said their telephone campaign -- and any other assistance provided by the right-wing outfits in Oregon -- was unlawful. "Both of these groups are 501C4 corporations," she said, referring to the section of the federal tax code under which such political "educational" outfits are exempt from taxation. "They are corporations, and therefore can't make donations. The phone calls are an in-kind corporate contribution prohibited by the Federal Election Commission."

Sloan has also included the Bush-Cheney campaign itself in her complaint. "Apparently the Bush campaign encouraged these calls and may have even allowed some of them to have been made from Bush campaign headquarters," she told Salon. "It is illegal to solicit a corporation for a campaign donation so Bush-Cheney, by soliciting CSE and OFC to make calls, would have been soliciting a prohibited in-kind corporate donation."

The alleged violations, Sloan added, resemble those charged to TRMPAC, the committee used by Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, to funnel corporate contributions into Republican legislative races in his home state. A Texas grand jury is currently investigating whether DeLay and TRMPAC violated laws that outlaw corporate spending in the state's elections.

Sloan's new complaint about the Oregon scheme will actually be filed as an amendment to a complaint her organization sent to the FEC on June 25. Her original complaint charged that the Nader campaign had violated federal election law by leasing its Washington headquarters space and telephones from a Nader-affiliated nonprofit called Citizen Works.

That strange arrangement, first reported in Salon last March, was the subject of a front-page investigative story in the Washington Post on June 13. The Post article quoted FEC documents showing that Nader also used Citizen Works facilities in his 2000 campaign.

In addition to the FEC complaint, Sloan's organization has also filed an official complaint with the IRS, alleging that the Citizen Works lease violated federal restrictions on political activity by charitable organizations.

"Ralph Nader seems to think that because he founded Citizen Works, he can use the organization as he sees fit; this includes using the charity to assist his campaign," Sloan said in announcing the complaint. "No one, not even Ralph Nader, is exempt from campaign finance and tax laws."

The Nader campaign has dismissed the CREW complaint as "completely frivolous and without merit," and described charges that it received unlawful aid from Citizen Works as "totally false."

Whatever the eventual outcome of Sloan's legal action, her complaint points to a troubling aspect of Nader's 2004 crusade. Following his rebuff last Sunday by the Green Party at its national convention in Milwaukee, which rejected his candidacy in favor of a little-known party activist, he could now face a difficult challenge achieving ballot access in dozens of states. The temptation will be great to accept financial and organizational help from conservative Republicans who want him to divert progressive votes from Kerry. Indeed, he has accepted help from Republicans not only this year, when they have contributed thousands of dollars to his war chest, but in 2000, when the Republican Leadership Council sponsored television ads on his behalf in Wisconsin, Washington and Oregon.

Yet Nader still insists that he will draw more votes from Bush than from Kerry. He often makes that dubious claim while campaigning in New Hampshire, where four years ago he almost certainly played a role in delivering the state to Bush. No matter what Nader may say to exculpate himself, it's becoming difficult to believe that he truly wants anything except attention for himself -- and another four years of Republican rule.

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About the writer
Joe Conason writes a twice weekly column for Salon. He also writes a weekly column for the New York Observer. His new book, "Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth," is now available. Join Joe Conason along with Ann Richards, David Talbot and others on the Salon Cruise

9:12 PM  
Blogger Joey Bee said...

Following is a brief background on Mrs. John Kerry. She hates being called that, by the way. According to the G2 Bulletin, an online intelligence newsletter of WorldNetDaily, in the years between 1995-2001 she gave more than $4 million to an organization called the Tides Foundation. And what does the Tides Foundation do with John Heinz's money?
They support numerous antiwar groups, including Ramsey Clark's International Action Center. Clark has offered to defend Saddam Hussein when he's tried.

They support the Democratic Justice Fund, a joint venture of the Tides Foundation and billionaire hate-monger George Soros. The Democratic Justice Fund seeks to ease restrictions on Muslim immigration from "terrorist" states. They support the Council for American-Islamic Relations, whose leaders are known to have close ties to the terrorist group, Hamas. They support the National Lawyers Guild, organized as a communist front during the Cold War era. One of their attorneys, Lynne Stewart, has been arrested for helping a client, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, communicate with terror cells in Egypt. He is the convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

They support the "Barrio Warriors," a radical Hispanic group whose primary goal is to return all of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas to Mexico. Aiding and supporting our enemies is not good for America, regardless of your political views.
If voters will open their eyes, educate themselves and see the real Teresa Heinz Kerry, they will not appreciate her position as ultra rich fairy godmother of the radical left. They will not want to imagine her laying her head on a pillow each night inches away from the President of the United States.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

WorldNetDaily is hardly a credible source. They frequently pass off fabrications such as this as fact for the benefit of Bush supporters who are incapable of differentiating between fact and fiction.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

Fact Check, among others, has debunked the false claims being spread above:

Internet "Whispering Campaigns" Falsely Accuse Teresa Heinz Kerry

Bogus e-mail messages claim she's given millions to "radical" groups, some linked to terrorists, and located Heinz factories overseas. Both claims are false.

August 4, 2004

Modified:August 12, 2004

False allegations about Kerry's wife have been circulating for months, but the velocity of the Internet "whispering campaign" picked up substantially with the approach of the Fall campaign.

One false message claims Teresa Heinz Kerry gave $4 million to a foundation that used the funds to support a list of "radical" groups including one with alleged links to Hamas and another that is said to have offered to provide a lawyer for Saddam Hussein. But public records show otherwise. Heinz Kerry's foundation money was directed to projects such as "Sustainable Pittsburgh," which promotes "smart growth" strategies.

Another widely circulated e-mail claims Kerry and his wife "own" dozens of H.J. Heinz Company factories in Europe and Asia. It accuses Kerry of hypocrisy for denouncing offshoring of US jobs while "making millions off that cheap labor."

That's also false: neither of them own Heinz. Public records show Heinz Kerry isn't an officer of the company, isn't on the company's board of directors, and isn't even close to being the largest shareholder. The Heinz Endowments do own Heinz stock -- less than 4% of the company -- but income from that stock goes to charity, not to the Kerrys personally.
Analysis has received hundreds of copies of these two e-mails from subscribers who asked us to check out whether there's any truth to them. They have been circulating like a virus, relayed by people who either don't bother to check out whether they are true, or don't care. It's the modern equivalent of the old "whispering campaign" in which false rumors served as political weapons.

Bogus E-mail (excerpt):
Teresa Heniz Funds Hamas?

Subject: Catsup, Pickles and the Radical left .

. . .So how does Mrs. Heinz Kerry spend John Heinz's money? Just one example:
According to the G2 Bulletin, an online intelligence newsletter of WorldNetDaily, in the years between 1995-2001 she gave more than $4 million to an organization called the Tides Foundation . And what does the Tides Foundation do with John Heinz's money?
They support numerous anti-war groups , including Ramsey Clark's International Action Center. Clark has offered to defend Saddam Hussein when he's tried.
They support the Democratic Justice Fund, a joint venture of the Tides Foundation and billionaire hate-monger George Soros. The Democratic Justice Fund seeks to ease restrictions on Muslim immigration from "terrorist" states.
They support the Council for American-Islamic Relations, whose leaders are known to have close ties to the terrorist group, Hamas.
They support the National Lawyers Guild, organized as a communist front during the Cold War era. One of their attorneys, Lynne Stewart, has been arrested for helping a client, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, communicate with terror cells in Egypt He is the convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
They support Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Rights Action League, and the Abortion Action Project. They support the most violent of all homosexual action groups, ACT-UP.
They support the "Barrio Warriors," a radical Hispanic group whose primary goal is to return all of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas to Mexico.
These are but a few of the radical groups that benefit, through the anonymity provided by the Tides Foundation, from the generosity of our would-be first lady - the wealthy widow of Republican senator John Heinz, and now the wife of the Democratic senator who aspires to be the 44th President of the United States.

Teresa Heinz Kerry and the Tides Foundation

The more virulent of these nasty, false mailings alleges that she's given more than $4 million to the Tides Foundation of San Francisco to fund a variety of "radical" groups including some that the message suggests are supportive of terrorists.

To start, that's flatly denied by Maxwell King, the President of the Heinz Endowments. King told

King: Neither she nor her foundations has ever funded any of the extremist organizations or unpatriotic causes listed in the email you forwarded. Period.

The Tides Foundation also says that no Heinz funds have gone to any of the groups named in the e-mail. Further, it says Tides itself gives little or no money to several of them. Christopher J. Herrera, Director of Communications of the Tides Foundation, told us that the allegation about a Ramsey Clark group is utterly false, for example.

Herrera: We have made no grants to this organization nor can we find any association with it in our records.

According to Herrera, Tides Foundation gifts to the National Lawyers Guild total "approximately $30,000 over the last ten years," and donations to the Council on Islamic Relations amounted to a single $5,000 grant in 2002 for a Southern California project called the "Interfaith Coalition Against Hate Crimes." But even those relatively small sums didn't come from Heinz money as alleged.

Where $8 million went

Both groups say the only money given directly to the Tides Foundation by the Heinz Endowments was $230,000 given between 1994 and 1998, all used to support a pollution-prevention initiative and other environmental projects in Western Pennsylvania.

Much larger sums have gone through a related legal entity called the Tides Center, which administers grants for groups receiving donations that are not themselves incorporated as a nonprofit organization. The Tides Center takes a fee, typically between 7% and 9%, for handling payrolls, disbursing, legal and administrative work, but the rest legally must go to the group for which the donor intended it.

The Heinz Endowments released a list of grants totaling $8.1 million given through Tides since 1994. None of the money went for the "radical" groups named in the e-mail.Instead, the grants included such sums as:

$1.6 million for "Sustainable Pittsburgh," which promotes such projects as "bike to work week."
Just over $1 million for the "Chemical Strategies Partnership," which looks for ways to cut the use of chemicals in industry.
$800,000 for the "Green Building Alliance ," which promotes buildings that use less energy.
Nearly $1.4 million for the "Pennsylvania Energy Project," which spun off several renewable-energy projects before going out of business at the end of 2000.

Included in the $8.1 million are grants from the Howard Heinz Endowment and also the Vira I. Heinz Endowment, which collectively make up the Heinz Endowments. Heinz Kerry chairs the Howard Heinz Endowment, the larger of the two, and is a member of the board of directors of the smaller Vira I. Heinz Endowment.

The list appears to be accurate: checked each grant on the list against those that the Heinz endowments reported to the US Internal Revenue Service on their form 990's for the five years 1998 through 2002. We found no discrepancies: all the grants on the master list matched grants reported on the IRS forms, where there could be legal penalties for false reporting. We would have checked 990's for other years but those before 1998 are not readily available, and the two Heinz endowments aren't scheduled to file their forms for 2003 until Aug. 15.

(Anyone who wants to check for themselves can call up the Heinz form 990's here , where they are posted for all to see by Guidestar, a national database of nonprofit organizations. The service is free, but registration is required.)

The Scaife Connection

This false allegation has its roots in a study published in December, 2003 by the conservative Capital Research Center of Washington, DC. It stated that the Tides Foundation and Tides Center "effectively 'launder' donor dollars" so that "the original donor can’t be linked to the ultimate recipient." It said the Heinz Endowments had given $4,298,500 to Tides between 1995 and 2001. That turned out to be much less than the actual amount, and far from being "laundered," donations from Heinz are listed on the endowment's website as well as in publicly available form 990's.

One of the study's authors then wrote an opinion piece that appeared in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, accusing Heinz of teaming with Tides to engage in "secretive funneling of cash . . . to extreme left-wing activist groups." In fact, none of the Heinz money was actually earmarked for any of the organizations listed. Nevertheless, the two articles have been quoted widely on conservative newspaper editorial pages and on conservative websites, one of which is quoted in the bogus e-mail we cite here.

Worth noting is that the publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is conservative Republican donor Richard Mellon Scaife, whose charities also gave $260,000 to Capital Research in 2002, according to a March 7 report in the rival Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Scaife attracted notice in the 1990's when he funded some of the journalistic investigations into Bill Clinton's affairs. It was the editorial page director for Scaife's Tribune-Review, Colin McNickle, whom Heinz Kerry told to "shove it" in a much-reported incident during the Democratic National Convention July 25.

Heinz Kerry and the Overseas Food Factories

Another e-mail that many of our subscribers have asked about claims -- falsely -- that Heinz Kerry and her husband "own" factories overseas and hypocritically are "making millions off all that cheap labor" while denouncing Bush for letting jobs go to other countries.

Bogus E-mail:

Teresa Sends Jobs Offshore?

Check your Heinz 57 labels
Shortly after reading the following e-mail content, I happened to look at the label of a jar of Heinz sandwich slice pickles. Yep.... "Made in Mexico".
Check some of your Heinz products.
Sen. John Kerry keeps talking about U.S. corporations leaving this country and setting up shop in foreign countries, taking thousands of jobs with them. He is right, because that has happened. However, he is trying to blame it on George W. Bush.
As far as I know, Bush has not moved one factory out of this country because he is not the owner of a single factory.
That cannot be said about Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz-Kerry.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Kerrys own 32 factories in Europe and 18 in Asia and the Pacific. In addition, their company, the Heinz Company, leases four factories in Europe and four in Asia . Also, they own 27 factories in North America, some of which are in Mexico and the Caribbean
I wonder how many hundreds of American workers lost their jobs when these plants relocated to foreign countries. I also wonder if the workers in Mexico and Asia are paid the same wages and benefits as workers in the United States.
Of course they're not. However, Kerry demands that other companies that relocate should pay the same benefits they did in the U.S. Why does he not demand this of the Heinz Company, since he is married to the owner?
If Kerry is elected, will he and his wife close all those foreign factories and bring all those jobs back to America? Of course they won't. They're making millions off that cheap labor.
If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier.

This one can also be proved false from publicly available records. In fact, Heinz Kerry has no role in running the food company.

As the H.J. Heinz Company reports in its most recent proxy statement on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Heinz Kerry is not on the company's board of directors, nor is she listed among the principal shareholders (those who control 5% or more of the outstanding shares). The charitable foundations she controls once held much more Heinz stock but sold off most of it nearly a decade ago to diversify their investments. The Heinz company said in a recent public statement that she currently controls less than 4% of the company's stock. The largest shareholder is actually a California investment company that owns roughly three times as much as the Heinz charitable foundations.

About all that is true in this e-mail is that the Heinz company has a number of factories overseas.

Its most recent annual report, also publicly available at the SEC's website, lists 32 factories owned in Europe (and three more leased), and 18 in Asia and the Pacific (plus four more leased). Heinz also reported selling just over $3 billion in products in Europe and more than $1 billion more in Asia and the Pacific -- accounting for roughly half the company's global sales.

The company issued a statement back in March, when this e-mail first began circulating, saying that 60% of its sales are outside the US (including those in Mexico and Canada as well as Europe and Asia) and that it locates plants in other countries "to accommodate those customers by providing facilities closer to those markets" and "to pack the freshest ingredients, tailor its recipes to local tastes and deliver the final products in a timely and efficient manner."

The company also distanced itself from the Kerry campaign and Heinz Kerry:

H.J. Heinz Co: In light of some misleading speculation, the H. J. Heinz Company would like to make clear that neither Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry, Senator John Kerry nor any member of their family is involved in the management or board of the H. J. Heinz Company. . . . They have no involvement in the Heinz® Ketchup business or any of the company’s other brands or products.

The Heinz company also said it is "nonpartisan." Worth noting, however, is that the company's Political Action Committee has given nearly all its donations to Republican candidates, including $5,000 to the Bush campaign and nothing to Kerry's as of the most recent reports available. That's additional evidence, as if any was needed, that the company isn't "owned" by Kerry's wife.

Update: On Aug. 9 the H.J. Heinz Company's Vice President for Corporate Communications, Debora S. Foster, sent us a letter stating that its PAC's practice is to support both major-party presidential nominees, "and because the Kerry campaign does not accept PAC contributions, (the Heinz PAC) is donating $5,000 to the Democratic National Committee." We received the letter Aug. 12 and are happy to note the clarification.

Heinz Endowments, "The Heinz Endowments Grants to Tides Center / Tides Foundation," news release, undated.

Howard Heinz Endowment, IRS Form 990PF, fiscal years 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002.

Vira I Heinz Endowment, a Pennsylvania Non Profit Corp, IRS Form 990PF, fiscal years 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002.

Gretchen Randall and Tom Randall, "The Tides Foundation: Liberal Crossroads of Money and Ideas," Foundation Watch, Capital Research Center, Washington DC, December 2003.

Tom Randall, "The Heinz Endowments have teamed with a secretive left-wing group ," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review , 14 Dec. 14, 2003. (Also here ).
Dennis B. Roddy, "Right zooms in on Heinz grants; Heinz Kerry's foundation work provide grist for foes," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , 7 march 2003.

H.J. Heinz Company, "SCHEDULE 14A, Proxy Statement Pursuant to Section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934," 2 July 2004.

H.J. Heinz Company, "FORM 10-K: ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 For the fiscal year ended April 28, 2004" 17 June 2004.
H.J. Heinz Company, "H.J. Heinz Company Confirms Its Widely Held Public Ownership And Non-Partisan Status," news release, 22 March 2004.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

A statement from Heinz Endowments President Maxwell King.

In recent weeks, The Heinz Endowments has been accused of using its funding of the Tides Center of Western Pennsylvania to advance a laundry list of partisan causes and fringe political groups. This accusation is simply wrong.

It originated in an opinion column written by a researcher for the conservative, Washington, D.C.-based Capital Research Center. The crux of CRC’s argument is that money directed by the Endowments to Tides is "fungible." By supporting projects through Tides, CRC alleged that Heinz has secretly funneled money to every other organization that has ever received funding through Tides Center and the separate Tides Foundation.

Since first being published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, CRC’s accusation has been picked up and expanded in opinion pieces in a number of newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and the Washington Times. But not even these publications have leveled this allegation in actual news stories.

The reason why is obvious: The charge does not stand up to objective scrutiny. Four facts undercut it completely. First, by legally binding contract, every penny of Heinz’s support to Tides has been explicitly directed to specific projects in Pennsylvania. It cannot legally be redirected and is the exact opposite of fungible.

Second, the Tides Center is a provider of management and administrative services, and we have used it only for those services, not to advance Tides’ grantmaking agenda. Foundations from all across the country-many, like Heinz, with strong centrist agendas-use these services to incubate an array of nonprofit programs. So does the federal government. It is no more accurate to suggest that Heinz supports every one of these programs than it is to suggest that someone who contributes to a specific group through the United Way supports the agenda of every other United Way beneficiary.

Third, the projects we have supported through Tides speak for themselves. They include programs to test the career readiness of area high school students, protect Pittsburgh’s environment and retain young people in our region-hardly an extremist agenda.

Fourth and finally, information about every one of our Tides-related grants is and always has been readily available in our public filings, annual reports and here on our web site. Far from being secretive, we have been consistently open in detailing the nature of our grants to Tides and every other organization we fund.

Throughout its 63-year history, The Heinz Endowments has scrupulously observed both the letter and the spirit of the law barring foundations from partisan activity. That hasn’t changed. These accusations to the contrary are rooted in politics, not fact. They do a disservice to Howard Heinz Endowment chairman Teresa Heinz Kerry, whose stewardship of the Heinz family’s generous philanthropic legacy has been exemplary, and to our 16 other board members and 31 staff. Together, we remain committed to upholding the high ethical standards and proud traditions of one of America’s most respected charitable foundations.

To learn more, please click on the links below:

A complete list of Heinz Endowments grants to Tides and the projects they supported;

FactCheck.Org, a nonpartisan "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics, recently completed an independent investigation on the claims against the Endowments and Teresa Heinz. is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. It monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Its goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding. Read their complete report here: "Whispering Campaigns" Falsely Accuse Teresa Heinz Kerry;

CRC’s original allegation as published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Dec. 14, 2003 - The Heinz Endowments have teamed with a secretive left-wing group;

The Endowments’ response as published in the Dec. 14th Tribune-Review column, Neither extreme nor secretive;

The Endowments’ response to the Dec. 14th Tribune-Review column, as submitted;

A second column, Playing Ketchup , published in National Review Online and the Tribune-Review, building on the allegation;

The Endowments’ unpublished response to the National Review Online (and the Tribune Review);

A Tribune-Review editorial published March 12, 2004, Follow the Money, criticizing the Endowments for attempting to respond to the allegations;

The Endowments’ second response , also never published;

The New York Post’s editorial (Mrs.) Kerry’s Cash Connection, published March 9, 2004;

The Endowments’ response;

The Wall Street Journal editorial, The Politics of 9/11 , published March 10, 2004;

The Endowments’ unpublished response;

The Washington Times’ editorial, Active measures , published March 10, 2004;

The Endowments’ response, Donations aren’t fungible, published March 13, 2004;

A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report, Right zooms in on Heinz on where the attacks are coming from, published March 7, 2004;

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s editorial, Dishing the dirt, published March 14, 2004, dismissing the allegations;

Tides Foundation, Tides Center and the Relationship with The Heinz Endowments Statement from Tides concerning the Tides Center and The Heinz Endowments.,K2025&title=The%20Truth%20About%20Heinz%20and%20Tides

10:48 PM  

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