10A - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 25, 2002
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - President Bush
swept through three Southern states yesterday for
Republican candidates, hoping to capitalize on
his tough-on-terrorism popularity while linking
their Democratic rivals to the Clinton administra-
tion - largely unpopular in this region.
Though Bush did not mention the former pres-
ident as he rallied Republican voters in the Car-
olinas and Alabama, his 12-hour campaign blitz
was designed to reinforce the strategy of south-
ern GOP candidates: Portray their Democratic
opponents as tax-raising liberals who are out of
step with the region's conservative voters.
"We're coming down the stretch. Candidates
can't win without you," the president told a partisan
crowd of several thousand voters while campaign-
ing for Senate candidate Elizabeth Dole. He urged
Republicans to lobby Democrats and independents
for their support: "Turn them out to vote."
Bush's trip reflects a shift in congressional
battlegrounds that could favor Republicans in
the South. While suburban districts were cen-
tral to the last few congressional campaigns,
rural America became this year's focal point
because of GOP retirements and the creation
of several large rural districts after the 2000
Southern Democrats, particularly whites,
began migrating to the Republican Party in the
1960s. The trend continued into the 1990s, when
President Clinton's support for gays in the mili-
tary, gun control and a national health care sys-
tem played poorly in the South. Democrats lost
control of the House in 1994.
Hoping to reverse the trend, Democratic lead-
ers recruited candidates who wander from the
party's positions on gun control, abortion, taxes
and national security.
Bush, as if in response, denounced Democrats
for opposing his tax cuts and plans to create a
Department of Homeland Security. He said the
Democratic-run Senate had done a "lousy job"
seating federal judges.
"We've got a vacancy problem because they
don't like it that I'm nominating good people
who are going to strictly interpret the Constitu-
tion and not use the bench from which to legis-
late," Bush said, using a phrase that signals
conservatives to his anti-abortion views.
Even as he touted the Senate candidacy of a
woman, Bush warmed up his Southern audi-
ence with a joke at his wife's expense. He said
Laura Bush was at their Texas ranch preparing
for his Friday visit with Chinese President
"It's been raining, so she needs to sweep the
porch because the president of China is coming,"
he said as the audience laughed.
Dole's opponent, Erskine Bowles, was White
House chief of staff under Clinton. Dole and her
supporters, seeking to portray him as a liberal,
constantly remind voters of Bowles' ties to the
former president and first lady, Sen. Hillary Rod-
ham Clinton (D-N.Y).
President Bush waves to the crowd after arriving at a get-out-the-vote rally for Republican Gubernatorial candidate Mike
Rogers at Auburn University. in Auburn, Al.., Thursday.
ST. CLAIR, Pa. (AP) - Rep. Tim
Holden takes his place at the bar,
among the beer drinkers in baseball
caps at the St. Clair Fish and Game
Club. The target shooters have hung
up their rifles and the locals - Hold-
en included - are watching the
Eagles game on TV
"Oh yeah, all sorts of liberals hang
out here," Holden, a Democrat seeking
re-election against Republican Rep.
George Gekas, says sarcastically as he
looks around the wood-paneled room.
An ad calling Holden a "typical tax-
and-spend liberal" appears during the
"Look at this,"he calls out to a friend.
"Hey, Wally, they're lying again."
The Republicans don't see it that way.
"He says he's a conservative," Gekas
said of Holden in an interview this
week. "But he fails as a conservative.
And stands out as a liberal."
Holden does say he's conservative,
but he's having to fight the liberal label
in Pennsylvania's 17th District race of
incumbents. "(Holden) sad
The election is one of four in the
nation where congressmen are pitted but he fais a
against each other as a result of the 10- t
year redistricting process. Though no s ds
independent polls have been taken, the
race is considered one of the closest
anywhere, important in determining
whether Republicans or Democrats con-
trol the House next year. a 15-point margin in the
Republicans agree the 72-year-old tial election. And Geka
Gekas, a 20-year House veteran, is in himself with the president
the toughest race of his career against to "let this George W he
Holden, 45, a 10-year House member in W." and describing Hold
his own right. Gekas is "right up there" Democrat.
among the GOP's most vulnerable Gekas and national
incumbents, says Rep. Tom Davis, point to Holden's supp
chairman of the National Republican unions, his opposition
Congressional Committee. American Free Trade A
But Gekas has an important advan- his vote for former Pr
tage: Republican voters far outnumber ton's 1993 tax increasea
Democrats in the largely rural district in liberal leanings. Holde
central Pennsylvania. Voters here sup- against President Bush's
ported George W Bush over Al Gore by and eliminating the esta
ys he's a conservative ...
is a conservative. And
s a liberal. "
- Rep. George Gekas
as has aligned
t, urging voters
lp that George
en as a liberal
port for labor
to the North
as evidence of
en also voted
s 2001 tax cut
te tax, and he
sided with Democrats over Republi-
cans on prescription drugs and priva-
tizing Social Security.
But Holden is also a pro-gun, pro-
death penalty, anti-abortion lawmaker
who supported welfare reform and
was given a 48 percent approval rat-
ing by the American Conservative
Union in 2001.
By comparison, Democratic Sen.
Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts
scored 4 percent. Holden voted this
month to allow Bush to use force in
Iraq, and he supports eliminating the
"marriage penalty" tax.
^ a fk. a M1 5 e
The Associated Press
Candidates for governor are shattering spend-
ing records in more than a half-dozen states, and
coming close elsewhere, in one of the most com-
petitive election years for the states' top office
over the past decade. In Texas, slick commercials
come back-to-back. Phones ring off the hook in
Wisconsin. Direct mail, ad campaigns and phone
banks drive expensive campaigns in Maryland,
New Mexico and beyond.
Some of the spending is fueled by wealthy can-
didates, as in New York. Other races are inflated by
huge campaign fund-raising efforts; that's what's
happened in California. Competitive races are dri-
ving up the costs in Florida, Illinois and more.
"Money is definitely the name of the game,
unfortunately," said Celia Viggo Wexler, research
director for Common Cause, a nonprofit citizens
group that supports public financing of elections.
From pharmaceutical companies to public-
employee unions, she said, "there are lots of rea-
sons for special interests to give at the state level.
And there are lots of hands out at the state level."
States where records are falling include:
Texas: GOP Gov. Rick Perry and Democrat-
ic challenger Tony Sanchez have spent a record
$72 million between the two of them so far, easi-
ly surpassing the 1990 record of $53.4 million in
New York: Total spending hit $89 million
earlier this month, driven partly by at least $40
million spent by billionaire and Independence
Party candidate B. Thomas Golisano, who is self-
financing his third run. GOP Gov. George Pataki
spent at least $27 million, while Democrat H.
Carl McCall, who complained this week that the
national party hasn't provided enough financial
help, spent $11 million.
New Mexico: Democrat Bill Richardson
spent more than $5.6 million while Republican
John Sanchez has shelled out $1.9 million, break-
ing the 1998 record of $5.2 million with the
home stretch yet to come.
New Hampshire and Wisconsin, where com-
petitive races smashed spending records before
the primary races were concluded. More than
$10.4 million was spent by the end of August in
Wisconsin, and $9.6 million in New Hampshire
by the GOP nominee alone, multimillionaire
None of the races so far have surpassed the
$130.5 million spent in California on the 1998
gubernatorial race, the highest number found by
the National Institute on Money in State Politics,
a watchdog group in Montana.
Former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris graces the
cover of The International Association of Machinists magazine's
1 RD1' 1111*0n11 ~SC
WASHINGTON (AP) - It's a
striking cover on the union maga-1
zine: Katherine Harris with a sour1
expression on her face. Below her
photo in bold yellow are the words,
The International Association of1
Machinists is hoping to use the former
Florida secretary of state to stir emo-
tions and energize its members, just
one of labor's tactics to get workers to
the polls on Election Day.
The labor unions also are bombard-i
ing their members with thousands of
phone calls, visits, fliers and mailings
about issues that range from corporate
greed to their own Social Security in
an effort to get them to turn out for
Democrats on Nov. 5.
Tony Sanchez, Democratic candidate for Texas governor, chats
with voters while on the campaign trail. He is challenging
President Bush's successor, GOP Gov. Rick Perry.
Led by labor's umbrella organiza-
tion, the AFL-CIO, unions have steadi-
ly increased their Election Day
participation, representing 26 percent
of voters in 2000, up from 19 percent
in 1992. They hope for an even higher
turnout this year as Democrats fight to
keep control of the Senate and to take
over the House.
Because health and worker issues
often are handled at the state level -
and because statehouse control will be
important in the 2004 presidential
elections - labor also is more
involved than usual in turnout efforts
for the 36 governorships that are up for
Voter mobilization "is one of the
greatest advantages Democrats have
Pltasskortom s hike
The Associated Press
With politicians wary of approving election-year
tav hipes ' nma ecah..tranned state and lnca1 onvern-
each case is potential easing of traffic congestion in
areas inhabited by 3.4 million people, nearly half the
Voters in three Florida counties including Miami-
However, Oregon voters have rejected other pro-
posed tax increases in recent years, while approving
limits on property taxes.
"Peonle might hold their nose and vote for an