- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 26, 2007

E-mail frenzy

Yesterday was the day for attention-getting e-mail subject lines.

“Hello from Hillaryland” read an e-mail fromSen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, while Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign fundraising request asked: “What Inspires You?”

But former Sen.John Edwards, North Carolina Democrat, took the cake with a “Haircuts and hatchet jobs” subject on an e-mail criticizing negative campaigning, Christina Bellantoni of The Washington Times reported yesterday on the Times blog Fishwrap.

“What happens when the candidate who will shake up Washington the most also has the best chance of getting elected?” the e-mail started. “Everyone who likes things just the way they are gets scared and goes on the attack. If they can’t attack the substance, they’ll create ‘scandals’ any way they can. We are fighting back hard, but we need your help.”

Mr. Obama, Illinois Democrat, took a different tack, asking for cash but promising, “This is the last you will hear from me until after the June 30th deadline.”

The Hillaryland memo was an update on the New York Democrat’s recent activities and encouraged supporters to host a debate-watching party July 23.

Mr. Edwards‘ deputy campaign manager, Jonathan Prince, said the other candidates are attacking his boss because they fear he is the only candidate who can win a general election, and called it a repeat of the 2004 campaign.

“Last time they attacked his hair; this time it’s his haircut. But it’s the same sad game. And this time, we can beat it,” Mr. Prince wrote, adding a postscript trying to debunk a New York Times story on the Edwards poverty center as overblown.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, had his own e-mail ploy — comparing himself to former President Bill Clinton.

“It was only 16 years ago that another small-state governor found himself facing better-funded and more well-known rivals. As late as December 1991, 70 percent of Americans didn’t even know who this candidate was,” wrote pollster Paul Maslin. “But by December 1992 Bill Clinton was preparing to move in to the Oval Office.”

Drafting Gore

The effort to persuade Al Gore to run for president is hitting the airwaves in Iowa.

The Draft Gore Committee aired its first radio ad yesterday on WHO-AM radio in Des Moines. The 30-second ad, dubbed “You Who,” features a chorus of voices urging the former vice president to seek the Democratic presidential nomination, the Associated Press reports.

The political action committee, which says it has gathered 94,000 signatures on an online petition, is not officially affiliated with Mr. Gore. The 2000 Democratic nominee has repeatedly said he has no plans to seek the nomination.

The radio ad included such pleas as “Mr. Gore, we need you for president,” and “We deserve a president we can respect.”

“Al Gore: Right on Iraq, right on global warming, right for the 21st century,” the ad says.

Doolittle aide aiding

The former chief of staff of Rep. John T. Doolittle, California Republican, is providing documents to federal prosecutors investigating Mr. Doolittle and his wife in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling scandal, the aide’s attorney told the Associated Press yesterday.

David Lopez, who was Mr. Doolittle’s longtime chief of staff until 2005 and continued to work for him as a campaign consultant for about a year after that, has turned over several hundred pages of campaign- finance records to the Justice Department under subpoena, said his attorney, Bill Portanova.

Another former Doolittle staffer, Kevin Ring, who went on to work as a lobbyist with Abramoff, was already known to be under investigation in the wide-ranging probe. Mr. Portanova’s comments marked the first public confirmation that prosecutors have sought to interview other former Doolittle aides.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment and Mr. Doolittle’s attorney did not immediately respond to messages.

Mr. Doolittle relinquished his post on the powerful House Appropriations Committee in April after the FBI raided his home. Mr. Lopez now works as director of stewardship and parish administrator at Holy Trinity Catholic Parish in El Dorado Hills, Calif.

Dad to stay on

The 80-year-old father of indicted South Carolina state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel will remain as a regional chairman for the campaign of former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani in the early-voting state despite his son’s legal difficulties.

The younger Mr. Ravenel, 44, was indicted last week on a federal cocaine charge and accused of buying less than 500 grams of the drug to share with other people, prosecutors said.

Mr. Ravenel had been state chairman for Mr. Giuliani’s South Carolina campaign. The day the indictment was made public, the campaign said he had left but did not release any details. Arthur Ravenel, a former state senator and U.S. congressman, leads the Giuliani campaign in the southeastern area of the state, the Associated Press reports.

Also, Mr. Giuliani’s campaign announced that a former supporter of Arizona Sen. John McCain in his failed 2000 White House bid would lead campaign efforts in northwestern South Carolina. Former South Carolina Secretary of State Jim Miles supported Mr. McCain in his previous bid after chairing Steve Forbes’ short-lived campaign in South Carolina.

Forum postponed

A firefighters union has canceled a presidential candidate forum planned for today in Iowa City, Iowa, because of conflicts with a congressional vote on a labor measure.

The International Association of Firefighters announced it would reschedule the forum after Labor Day to ensure candidates didn’t miss voting on the bill, which would allow changes in the way workers vote on union membership.

Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut andBarack Obama of Illinois had been scheduled to address the firefighters group today. Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina was set to speak tomorrow.

“We didn’t want to be responsible for pro-labor members’ absence during a vote on labor’s most important legislative issue this session,” said Bill Glanz, a spokesman for the union.

The forum will likely be held in September after Labor Day, but it will be several weeks before a date is announced, Mr. Glanz said. The firefighters union is a politically active group, and its endorsement helped boost Sen.John Kerry to the Democratic nomination in 2004. All the Democratic contenders actively court the group, the Associated Press reports.

c Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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