Response to Misleading Club For Growth Attack Ad
Governor Huckabee's record on taxes as a steward of the public's money has been CLEAR and consistent as a conservative with strong pro-growth.policies. The Club for Growth misrepresents this record. [read more]
Response To Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter's comments are based on a response I made during a radio call-in show in which a caller asked what I thought about the Supreme Court ruling on Lawrence v. Texas. At the time I had not read the ruling and was basing my opinion on the summary by the caller. After reading the decision I believe it is obvious that the ruling was wrongly decided. [read more]
Response To Romney On Foreign Policy
Once again, Governor Romney has highlighted his willingness to do an “about face” on the serious issues facing the American people – especially those involving the nation’s foreign policy. [read more]
Response to Romney December 17 Attack Ad
TRUTH: Governor Huckabee was tougher on methamphetamine manufacturers than Governor Romney. In a new attack ad released today, Governor Romney attempts to contrast his position on drugs with that of Governor Huckabee. [read more]
Response To Fred Thompson Mailer
Setting the record straight on negative attacks from Senator Thompson. [read more]
Response To The Drudge Report
On December 10, the Drudge Report linked to an article in The Arkansas Leader titled, "Why parole a monster like Green." Drudge links to the article as if it were a new story rather than an editorial 2004. [read more]
Former Huckabee Aide Denounces Huffpo Distortion
A report on the left-wing blog, The Huffington Post makes allegations against Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee that are inaccurate and distort the truth. [read more]
Governor Huckabee's Response to the Wayne Dumond Incident
This is the transcript from his answer at the press conference today on the Wayne Dumond Case. Governor Huckabee was asked if he had pressured the parole board to release Dumond. [read more]
Response to Ernie Dumas
His assessment would have been easier had he simply asked whether Arkansans were better off under Clinton or under Governor Huckabee.. [read more]
Driver's Licenses for Illegal Immigrants
Governor Huckabee opposes giving driver's licenses to illegals and supports legislation to prevent states from doing so. [read more]
Response to Club for Growth
Since January, the Club for Growth has attacked the Governor Huckabee's credentials as a fiscal conservative. The first salvo came with the release of their white paper, ""Is Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee a Pro-Growth, Economic Conservative?" An honest examination of Huckabee's tenure as governor would have to conclude that he is the most pro-growth, economic conservative with executive experience in the race. [read more]
Response to Fred Thompson on Abortion and the HLA
On Fox News Sunday [11/25/07], Sen. Fred Thompson claimed that Gov. Huckabee "supported the same thing that I've been saying as late as last year, leave [abortion] up to that states, essentially." This is simply not true. [read more]
Immigration Facts- The Governor opposes and will never allow amnesty. [read more]
The overwhelming majority of ethics complaints filed against Governor Huckabee in the state of Arkansas were regularly dismissed and / or proven to be frivolous. [read more]
Wayne Dumond StoryIt has been reported that Governor Huckabee released, pardoned, or granted parole to convicted rapist Wayne Dumond. That is not true. [read more]
A Letter From Rick Calhoun, Former Chairman of the Arkansas Eagle Forum
Now is the time for Christian conservatives to unite behind the only candidate in the upcoming presidential contest who shares our values and vision for America. [read more]
Monday, December 31, 2007
Response to Misleading Club For Growth Attack Ad
As voting nears in the Republican nomination process, our campaign remains convinced that our strategy we have long had in place is right – bold, innovative and designed to deal with the radically different election calendar. While many of the beltway insiders seem to remain committed to the old "Carter/Clinton" approach and have questioned the adjustments we have made to our strategic thinking based on the new calendar, we clearly have a winning plan to secure the nomination in an election cycle unlike any other. History will prove us right.
As we enter the final stages of the campaign we have seen a tightening in the national polling and the emergence of a real 5-way race for the Republican nomination. Mayor Giuliani has led virtually every national major media poll conducted in 2007. We are now at a point in the campaign where we are seeing increasing polling volatility as public attention turns to the horse races in individual states.
Important to our long term strategy, Mayor Giuliani has enjoyed a commanding lead in nearly every public poll conducted in the delegate rich states of Florida, California, Illinois, New York and New Jersey.
2007 November – December Public Polling Averages Mayor Giuliani and Closest Opponent in state polling
State Mayor Giuliani Average Closest Opponent Average
Florida 30% 17%
California 29% 15%
New Jersey 38% 12%
New York 40% 12%
The Primary Calendar2008 will be unlike any recent Republican nomination process. What typically has been a primary process that stretched into March or April has been accelerated and compacted into a 33 day sprint.
Our rivals seemingly have built campaigns based on the old calendars’ strategies — a couple of very early state wins to propel them deeper in to the nomination process. To the contrary, our plan allocates time and resources to the many states which vote a bit later — on January 29 (Florida) and February 5.
For the record, only 78 delegates will be picked prior to Florida whereas 1,039 delegates will be picked on January 29 and February 5. Additionally, it is important to note that voting HAS ALREADY STARTED in Florida, Missouri, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey and New York – tens of thousands of people will have already cast their ballot by the time you are reading this note. And more February 5th states, including California will begin early and absentee voting soon. All of this points to the folly of over-estimating the impact of the results of Iowa and New Hampshire and the wisdom of our strategy.
Putting a high priority on spending our time and money in a proportional basis in Florida and the large delegate states voting on February 5th is clearly the right thing to do.
The Early States
The pre-February 5th states are Iowa, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina, Florida and Maine. Delegates are at stake in just five states before February 5. Wyoming will select a portion of its delegates at their caucus in January, but will not allocate all of their delegates until later in the year. Iowa, Nevada and Maine award NO delegates at this time. Florida is the big prize on January 29, with 57 winner-take-all delegates – the only winner-take-all state before February 5th.
Pre February 5th Contests
Date State Estimated Delegates after RNC Penalty
1/3 Iowa 0*
1/5 Wyoming 12
1/8 New Hampshire 12
1/15 Michigan 30
1/19 Nevada 0*
1/19 South Carolina 24
1/29 Florida 57
2/1 Maine 0*
Because states selecting delegates before February 5th are in violation of Republican National Committee rules, those states have been penalized half of their normal delegates; Iowa, Nevada, and Maine do not select any delegates at their caucuses, but rather at state party conventions in late spring. The states before February 5th will allocate delegates to multiple candidates under varying state election laws and state party rules. Thus, it is highly unlikely that any single candidate will win all of any one state’s delegates except Florida’s, which will be winner-take-all.
Florida accounts for more than 40% of all delegates allocated before February 5th and has almost twice as many delegates as the next largest state. It is therefore easy and correct to conclude that in a multiple candidate race, whichever candidate wins Florida, with their winner-take-all delegates, will very likely have a delegate lead going into February 5th.
On February 5th, 982 delegates will be in play. Most importantly, a bloc of 201 winner-take-all delegates will be at stake in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware, all states in which Mayor Giuliani has double digit leads. Aside from the huge northeast delegate prize, Missouri will award 58 winner-take-all delegates, and Senator Kit Bond’s endorsement gives our organization a great statewide network there. Also on February 5th, large states such as California, Georgia and Illinois will award most of their delegates by Congressional District vote. It is for this reason that Mayor Giuliani has spent a great deal of time in each of those states and has always polled well in them.
Path to VictoryIf Mayor Giuliani wins even a minority share of the 78 delegates from pre Florida states, wins Florida’s 57 delegates, wins the 201 available in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware, and wins only a plurality of delegates from large February 5th states like California, Georgia and Illinois, he will have a commanding lead in delegates for the nomination with more than half of the delegates selected.
State Polling and OutlooksAs noted above, polling has been and will continue to be dynamic and incredibly volatile. In Iowa for instance -just in December- we have seen polls placing the Mayor’s support from as high as 3rd to as low as 6th place. Senator McCain caucus support has ranged from a high of 20% to a low of 5%. And polling over the Christmas and New Year holidays will not be any less fickle.
In Iowa, one could anticipate that Mayor Giuliani might finish outside of the top 3. Governors Huckabee and Romney are battling it out for first, Senator Thompson is spending a lot of time in the state over the closing days of the campaign and Senator McCain received a recent boost from the endorsement of the Des Moines Register. While placement in Iowa will be a focus of the media, it should be remembered that Senator McCain came in 5th place in Iowa (behind Bauer and Keyes) before winning New Hampshire.
The most covered story out of Iowa will likely be the Democratic race, but on the Republican side, the Huckabee/Romney race will be very interesting. The Romney campaign has invested millions of dollars and assembled a massive paid staff; some now question whether Mitt Romney’s Iowa investment and organization will prevail over Mike Huckabee. While Governor Huckabee was climbing rapidly in polls before Christmas, he now seems to have plateaued. Governor Romney’s strategy has long been based on winning the first few races to build momentum. Many believe the Romney organization (and a few million more dollars of get-out-the-vote money) will pull this one out for their campaign.
New Hampshire is only a few days after Iowa and voters there are notoriously late deciders on their presidential primary vote. New Hampshire will be very much in flux after Iowa. Governor Romney was governor of neighboring Massachusetts and Senator McCain won New Hampshire in 2000. In addition to Senator McCain’s base of support, he has recently put together a series of high profile endorsements in the area to further reinvigorate his campaign. The unprecedented personal spending by Governor Romney should not be underestimated. It is apparent that he has put more than $40 million of his own money into this race.
Accurate polling in New Hampshire will be nearly impossible, with the holidays complicating it logistically and the Iowa news cycle dominating press and potentially disrupting the order of the race.
Although we should expect to see more polling from South Carolina, Michigan and the other early states, one should remember that because of the furious pace of the election calendar and the never ending news cycle, polling will be very difficult to conduct, have a very short shelf life and become even more unstable and unreliable. The polling picture will be further blurred with the range of new polling methodologies that are being tested, ranging from robotic calling to internet polling.
Thus, we should all be ready for a barrage of state and national polls in January with seemingly contradictory results — some of it good news, much of it related to early January states as bad news. We should all have confidence in the strong organizations and also in the strong bases of support in Florida and other February 5th states which will endure the ups and downs of January.
Also, by the time we get to Florida, the field of candidates and the race will look remarkably different than it does right now. Florida will be the important battleground not only for our campaign but for the race itself.
Polling in Florida has been stable all year. For most of the second half of 2007, the support for Mayor Giuliani has averaged 33 or 34%. Virtually every other candidate in the race has polled in second place to us at one point or another over the year. We have remained on top in Florida. As in all races, expect to see signs of tightening in Florida as Election Day approaches, but also expect us to consolidate more support as candidates drop out of the race. We are very proud of our Florida organization, which, like all of our state organizations, is prepared for the long, hard fight to win.
One should conclude, as voting nears, that our campaign is focused on the right prize – winning enough delegates to secure the Republican nomination. Our national campaign is the right strategy for getting it done.
The Thompson campaign today released the following excerpts of Fred Thompson's 17-minute video address to the people of Iowa:
Hello, I'm Fred Thompson.
In the closing days of this historic contest here in Iowa, I wanted to take a few moments to talk quietly with you about the stakes in this election and the critical issues you will soon decide.
Because there is no frontrunner here in Iowa and because yours will be the first votes cast in this crucial election year, your decision will be one the entire country closely watches and learns from.
When you go to your local caucus on January 3rd and fill out your paper ballot - and, by the way, it's just that easy - how you vote will go a long way towards deciding who will lead us as president through dangerous years ahead.
That the years ahead will be dangerous needs no elaboration from me. Most Americans know the forces of terrorism will not rest until a mushroom cloud hangs over one of our cities. The recent tragic assassination of former Prime Minister Bhutto in Pakistan again demonstrates the terrorists' will to power and their relentless cruelty.
Along with threats to our national security, we have great domestic challenges before us - the economy, taxes, protecting our borders, and protecting the right to life.
So, I want to talk to you now about the threats and dangers that we face as a people -- but also about the hope and opportunity I see out there.
Now there are many good men running for our party's nomination. Each of them loves our country. Each of them has something interesting and useful to offer. But the fact of the matter is that the Republican Party is a conservative party. That's the philosophy that's shaped us. That's the philosophy that has won us elections. And that's the philosophy we must champion if we are to win again in 2008.
And on that score, among each of the men seeking our party's nomination, my record stands out. I entered public life as a conservative. I served in the Senate as a strong, consistent conservative with a 100% pro life voting record. And I have the same philosophy today that I had back then. What you see is what you get. I dance to no man's tune. And no one has ever accused me of changing my position on anything for the sake of political expediency. That's why when someone here in Iowa said conservatives were looking for a horse to ride in 2008, I responded, "Saddle me up." And in the battle of ideas, we can't afford a Republican leader who doesn't have a core philosophy that grounds him. I know who I am. I know what I believe. And I am ready to lead. ;
And I would ask people to think one thing before they caucus: When our worst enemy is sitting across from us at the negotiating table, and they're thinking about what they can do to harm the United States of America, and what they might could get away with, who do you want sitting on our side of the table representing you, working to keep you safe? That's probably the person you ought to elect as President.
I've been tested. And I believe our country's best days are ahead of us if we take on the responsibility of leadership. The American people are waiting for us to step up, protect our values, our principles and our country. Together we can do something great for America. I welcome that challenge.
You know, when I'm asked which of the current group of Democratic candidates I prefer to run against, I always say it really doesn't matter. Because these days all those candidates, all the Democratic leaders, are one and the same. They're all NEA, Move On.org , ACLU, Michael Moore Democrats. They've allowed these radicals to take control of their party and dictate their course.
So this election is important not just to enact our conservative principles. This election is important to salvage the once-great political party from the grip of extremism and shake it back to its senses. It's time to give not just Republicans but independents and, yes, good Democrats a chance to call a halt to the leftward lurch of the once proud party of working people.
Read entire transcript here: http://www.fred08.com/NewsRoom/Speech.aspx?ID=18aa07a9-dad3-46cd-8634-bdd950fb4c26
View 17-minute video here: http://fredfile.fred08.com/blog/2007/video-freds-message-to-iowa-voters/
McLean, VA - Today, Senator Fred Thompson released the following statement:
"I want to congratulate Senator Wicker on his appointment to the U.S. Senate. Roger is an old friend and I know he'll serve the people of Mississippi well. With Mississippi's two U.S Senators as my campaign co-chairs, I look forward to being successful in Mississippi's primary and sharing the ballot with Senator Wicker in November of 2008."
Despite His Claims, Gov. Huckabee Supported Special Tuition Breaks For Illegals
"Governor, let me stop you right there because a lot of people have looked at this and I've got the bill right in front of me, and I know that what you're talking about may have been in your original legislation, but you continued to push for a bill after the scholarship provisions were dropped that would simply provide in-state tuition benefits to illegal immigrants. I've read through it." – ABC News' George Stephanopoulos (ABC's "This Week," 12/2/07)
Gov. Huckabee Has Repeatedly Claimed He Didn't Support Tuition Breaks For Illegals:
On NBC's "Meet The Press" Yesterday, Gov. Huckabee Claimed He Did Not Support Special Tuition Breaks For Illegals. GOV. HUCKABEE: "He said that I supported special breaks for illegal aliens. That's not true, Tim. We supported simply giving children, who had earned a scholarship the same, it never happened, didn't make the legislature." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 12/30/07)
At The CNN, YouTube Debate, Gov. Huckabee Said He Did Not Support Giving Illegals Tuition Breaks. GOV. HUCKABEE: "Ashley, first of all let me just express that you're a little misinformed. We never passed a bill that gave special privileges to the children of illegals to go to college." (CNN/YouTube, Republican Presidential Candidate Debate, St. Petersburg, FL, 11/28/07)
On ABC's This Week, Gov. Huckabee Again Tried To Claim He Didn't Support In-State Tuition Breaks For Illegals. ABC's GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: "Excuse me. Let me just stop you right there because that's why you pushed a bill that would allow the children of illegal immigrants, if they went through an Arkansas high school, to get in-state tuition." GOV. HUCKABEE: "Actually it was to qualify for an Academic Challenge Scholarship which was a meritorious scholarship based on their grade point average, their being drug and alcohol free, and their also being in the process of applying for citizenship." (ABC's "This Week," 12/2/07; www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tKnV3_pbVI)
Gov. Huckabee Has Also Repeatedly Claimed That He Only Supported Merit-Based Scholarships:
Gov. Huckabee Claimed, "It Wasn't About Out-Of-State Tuition, It Was An Academic Meritorious Scholarship." GOV. HUCKABEE: "I supported the bill that would have allowed those children who had been in our schools their entire school life, the opportunity to have the same scholarship that their peers had, who had also gone to high school with them and sat in the same classrooms. They couldn't just move in in their senior year and go to college. It wasn't about out-of-state tuition, it was an academic meritorious scholarship, called the Academic Challenge Scholarship." (CNN/YouTube, Republican Presidential Candidate Debate, St. Petersburg, FL, 11/28/07)
Gov. Mike Huckabee Said He Only Supported A Program Where Illegals Were Granted "Scholarship[s]" For Doing "Academically Well." FOX NEWS' BILL HEMMER: "The suggestion in that is that you favor giving children of illegal immigrants tuition breaks." HUCKABEE: "Here's the deal -- he has hit me on that. Mitt Romney has tried to hit me on that. What I supported was the idea that if a student had been in our Arkansas high schools and had done academically well to be able to compete for an academic challenged scholarship which was meritorious then that student should be able to have the same opportunity as anyone else. It wasn't a special break. It was something that a person had earned." (Fox News' "Live," 11/14/07; www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHwTcWHhLaE)
But The Fact Is, Gov. Huckabee Supported A Bill Granting ONLY In-State Tuition Breaks To Illegals:
Gov. Huckabee Proposed Extending Taxpayer-Funded College Scholarships To Illegal Aliens. "Gov. Mike Huckabee is proposing extending eligibility for state-funded college scholarships to illegal aliens who graduate from Arkansas high schools - an idea that several legislators predicted will go nowhere." (Laura Kellams, "Huckabee Plan Would Aid Illegal Aliens," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/12/05)
Gov. Huckabee Asked Arkansas Legislator Joyce Elliott To Add His Scholarship Proposal To Her Bill Extending In-State Tuition To Illegal Immigrants. "In 2005, Huckabee tried to make children of illegal immigrants eligible for scholarships and in-state college tuition. Joyce Elliott, the former state representative who sponsored the scholarship measure, said she originally had wanted to offer just in-state tuition, but Huckabee's office asked her to add the scholarship provision. 'The notion I got from him is that he believed it was the right thing to do,' said Elliott, a Democrat from Little Rock." (Andrew DeMillo, "Huckabee Adopts New Tone On Immigration," The Associated Press, 12/27/07)
Yet The Scholarship Portion Was Stripped From The Bill:
The Scholarship Portion Of The Bill Was Stripped From The Bill. "Hard-liners, led by state Sen. Jim Holt, R-Springdale, said 'illegal aliens,' as they prefer, have no rights because they're lawbreakers. It may not be fair to single Holt out because he had plenty of company. When House Bill 1525 stalled in a Senate committee, the scholarship portion of the bill was stripped out, sending the measure to the Senate floor, where it failed twice, the final time by only two votes." (Dennis Byrd, "Federal Judge: Illegal Immigrants Qualify For Tuition Breaks," Arkansas News, 7/10/05)
And The Bill That Was Actually Voted On Only Included In-State Tuition Breaks For Illegals. H.B. 1525, "Access To Postsecondary Education Act Of 2005":
Gov. Huckabee Fought To Pass The Stripped Bill Which Granted ONLY In-State Tuition Breaks For Illegals. "[The] only bill in the governor's 21-bill legislative package that failed to win legislative approval was a proposal to make the children of illegal immigrants eligible for state-funded scholarships and in-state tuition to Arkansas colleges. After passing the House relatively early in the session, the bill faltered in the Senate where it was amended to remove the scholarship provision but fell just short of passage Tuesday and Wednesday. Huckabee said his office worked throughout the day Wednesday for the two Senate votes needed to pass the bill. 'I don't understand the opposition to it, I just honestly don't,' Huckabee said." (Melissa Nelson, "Governor Touts Successful End To Legislative Session," The Associated Press, 4/13/05)
Gov. Huckabee Has Been Misleading On The Issue:
The Washington Post Called Out Gov. Huckabee's Misleading Statements. " In fact, the initial bill he supported did have a scholarship provision. But that provision was later stripped out, and was not included in the legislation that Huckabee continued to push. The bill read: 'Any tuition rate that is granted to residents of Arkansas shall be granted on the same terms to all persons, regardless of immigration status, who have attended a secondary educational institution in Arkansas for at least three (3) years and who have either graduated from an Arkansas high school or received a general education diploma in the state.'" (Michael D. Shear, "Rising in Iowa Polls, Huckabee Now In Crosshairs," The Washington Post, http://blog.washingtonpost.com, Posted 11/15/07)
ABC News' George Stephanopoulos: "You Continued To Push For A Bill After The Scholarship Provisions Were Dropped." STEPHANOPOULOS: "… you pushed a bill that would allow the children of illegal immigrants, if they went through an Arkansas high school, to get in-state tuition." GOV. HUCKABEE: "Actually it was to qualify for an Academic Challenge Scholarship which was a meritorious scholarship based on their grade point average, their being drug and alcohol free, and their also being in the process of applying for citizenship."
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: "Governor, let me stop you right there because a lot of people have looked at this and I've got the bill right in front of me, and I know that what you're talking about may have been in your original legislation, but you continued to push for a bill after the scholarship provisions were dropped that would simply provide in-state tuition benefits to illegal immigrants. I've read through it." (ABC's "This Week," 12/2/07; www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tKnV3_pbVI)
"Romney, Obama Should Get Party Nominations"
Casper Star-Tribune Editorial
December 31, 2007
"The wishes of Wyoming voters are usually a moot point by presidential convention time. In each party, someone usually racks up enough wins in the early primaries to ensure the nomination, thus making the conventions a formality.
"This year, thanks to the state Republican central committee's decision to hold its county caucuses Saturday, things are a little different. Several GOP candidates campaigned in Wyoming. While most of these hopefuls were in the lower tier, the move nevertheless gave the state some recognition it hasn't received in other years.
"With Thursday's GOP and Democratic caucuses in Iowa too close to call, a win in Wyoming could boost a candidate's chances in next week's New Hampshire primary."
"Our Editorial Board's recommendations aim to identify the candidates who will best represent Wyoming's interests, along with the nation as a whole.
"Mitt Romney stands out in the Republican race as the candidate with the leadership, experience, and conservative political philosophy to be his party's standard bearer.
"Romney traveled to Wyoming twice in the past few months, visiting Cheyenne, Gillette, Jackson and Riverton. He has organized an impressive team of Wyoming supporters.
"The former Massachusetts governor has pledged to oppose any increases in income taxes and is prepared to make spending cuts in our bloated federal budget.
"Romney has called for making the nation more energy-independent. That resonates well in Wyoming, a state with an abundance of fossil fuels and potential for wind and solar power.
"As chief executive of the Olympics, Romney did a masterful job saving the winter games in Salt Lake City. And speaking of Utah, Romney's family ties to that state date back to territorial days. His heritage is rooted in the West, and he's not likely to forget it."
"There is no reason Republican voters shouldn't believe Romney when he describes himself as a conservative, pro-life candidate who believes marriage is the union of a man and a woman."
"For those reasons, Romney and Obama are our choices for the two parties' nominations. Whether you agree with us or not, we hope you find our observations helpful."
To read the full endorsement, please see: http://www.trib.com
"'We tried to get him around to a lot of those kinds of things,' said McCain campaign manager Rick Davis. 'We were very much in the friend-making business.'" (Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and John Solomon, "McCain's Unlikely Ties to K Street," The Washington Post, 12/31/07)
The Washington Post"McCain's Unlikely Ties To K Street"
By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and John Solomon
December 31, 2007
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) took a break from the presidential campaign trail in March to fly to a posh Utah ski resort, where he mingled with hundreds of top corporate executives assembled by J.P. Morgan Chase for its annual leadership conference.
McCain's appearance at the Deer Valley event, arranged by J.P. Morgan Vice Chairman James B. Lee Jr., a top McCain fundraiser, put him in a room with the chief executives of companies such as General Electric, Xerox and Sony. It was, Lee said, "a chance for him to let them see him for who he is and possibly decide to support him." The effort paid off: J.P. Morgan executives have donated $56,250 to McCain's campaign, two-thirds of which came after his Utah appearance. And his visit there was quickly followed up by dozens of smaller private meetings with corporate executives in New York City arranged by leading Wall Street figures.
"We tried to get him around to a lot of those kinds of things," said McCain campaign manager Rick Davis. "We were very much in the friend-making business."
It is common for politicians to court big money during a campaign. But private schmooze sessions such as the gathering in Utah pose a particular dilemma for McCain, who has spent a long career decrying "special interests" and politicians who offer special access to them in order to raise money. As a presidential candidate this year, McCain has found himself assiduously courting both lobbyists and their wealthy clients, offering them private audiences as part of his fundraising. He also counts more than 30 lobbyists among his chief fundraisers, more than any other presidential contender.
[A] recent study by the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute and the liberal advocacy group Public Citizen found that McCain has more lobbyists raising funds for his presidential bid than do any of his rivals. He has 32 "bundlers" of donations who are lobbyists. Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R) is the closest to him with 29 lobbyist bundlers, followed by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) with 18.
McCain's campaign has also been guided by lobbyists. Davis, the campaign manager, is a former lobbyist who represented major telecommunications companies. The campaign's senior adviser is Charles R. Black Jr., chairman of BKSH & Associates, which represents drug companies, an oil company, an automaker, a telecommunications company, defense contractors and the steel industry, among others.
Former congressman Tom Loeffler (R-Tex.) was brought in to shore up the campaign's finances and operations. Yet he maintains his day job as chairman of the Loeffler Group, whose clients include oil, auto and telecommunications companies, as well as a tobacco firm and an airline.
Other occasional McCain advisers include lobbyists Timothy P. McKone of AT&T, Robert S. Aiken of Phoenix-based Pinnacle West Capital, John W. Timmons of the Cormac Group and John Green of Ogilvy Government Relations. Also at Ogilvy is a major McCain fundraiser, Wayne L. Berman.
Their firms' clients have been a significant source of contributions to McCain's campaign. Executives for the clients of Ogilvy Government Relations gave at least $271,000 for McCain's presidential bid. Loeffler Group client employees donated $118,500, according to a Washington Post analysis. BKSH clients' executives gave $24,000.
Beyond his fundraising, McCain's conduct as chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee between 1997 and 2004 has occasionally raised questions about whether he took actions to benefit major contributors to his political network, which included his Senate and presidential campaign committees, his Straight Talk political action committee and a foundation that he helped start called the Reform Institute.
In 2003 and 2004, for example, McCain took two actions favorable to Cablevision, the cable TV company, while Davis, his chief political strategist at the time, solicited the company for a total of $200,000 for the Reform Institute, a tax-exempt group that advocated an end to outsize political donations.
Davis solicited an initial donation from Cablevision chief Charles Dolan a week after Dolan testified before the Senate Commerce Committee in favor of a position backed by McCain. Davis said there was no connection between the testimony and the solicitation.
Less than a year later, McCain wrote to the Federal Communications Commission recommending Cablevision's position on cable pricing, citing Dolan by name. Cablevision followed soon thereafter with a second $100,000 donation, the Associated Press reported. …
To read the full article, please click here: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/30/AR2007123002848_pf.html
Dear McCain Supporter,
This is it - the last day before the end of the fundraising quarter.
Thanks to your help and support, I am on the verge of an historic comeback in New Hampshire that will send shock waves through the political landscape and catapult my candidacy forward. I'm emailing you today because I need your help one last time.
I am surging to the front of the pack in New Hampshire where our grassroots campaign is winning out over the tens of millions of dollars in advertising that Mitt Romney has inundated the state with for months.
The most recent New Hampshire poll shows that my campaign has gained 15 points in the last month and has me tied with Mitt Romney at 26 percent each. Another poll shows me leading Romney in Michigan - his adopted home state.
In addition, we received endorsements from 26 area newspapers, including the Boston Globe and Boston Herald - Mitt Romney's hometown newspapers, and major papers in New Hampshire, including the New Hampshire Union Leader, Nashua Telegraph, Concord Monitor and Portsmouth Herald.
As more and more voters focus on this election, they realize I have the experience and judgment our country needs at this time in our history. And Republicans all across the nation recognize that I am the only Republican who can beat Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in the general election.
But I must keep pushing forward, reaching out to voters and promoting my conservative agenda for victory against radical Islamic extremists, restoration of trust in our government, and prosperity for American families.
I know I can win this race, but only if I have the money to get my message out and fully fund our get-out-the-vote programs. After New Hampshire on January 8th, I need to immediately ramp-up my campaign for the next round of elections in Michigan, South Carolina, Florida and the February 5th Super Tuesday primaries.
Please make an immediate online contribution to my campaign.
Every dollar we raise today will go toward what we report for this quarter. I need your help to keep the momentum going.
I am counting on you to stick with me during the critical days ahead. We have come too far and fought too hard to let up now, with victory in sight.
Please immediately make the largest contribution you can by clicking here.
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Despite His Claims, Arkansans Did Not Vote Themselves A Tax Hike
"Huckabee claimed a gasoline tax was only passed after 80 percent of voters approved it. Not true. The tax was enacted before a referendum vote on highway repairs." – Factcheck.org ("Huckabee's Fiscal Record," Factcheck.org, 11/21/07)
Gov. Huckabee Has Repeatedly Claimed That 80% Of Arkansas Voters Approved A Gas Tax:
On NBC's Meet The Press Yesterday, Gov. Huckabee Claimed That Arkansas Voters Supported A Tax For Highway Improvement. GOV. HUCKABEE: "He made claims about things like tax increases, but he failed to mention that some of those were either court-ordered or they were voted on by the people and approved by the people for things as roads." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 12/30/07)
On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Gov. Huckabee Said That 80% Of Arkansas Taxpayers Voted For A Gas Tax Hike. FOX NEWS' SEAN HANNITY: "You did support some tax increases, but some tax cuts. Can you explain that?" HUCKABEE: "Yes, I did. Certainly, there was an issue that involved road building and infrastructure on roads and bridges, and I did support that. … When we put that out there for the people to decide whether they wanted to affirm it, they did by an 80 percent vote, I would call that leadership." (Fox News' "Hannity & Colmes," 11/15/07)
On ABC's This Week, Gov. Huckabee Also Claimed That Voters Approved The Gas Tax Hike. ABC'S GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: "But you did raise those other taxes." HUCKABEE: "Well, here's what we did. On the gas tax, yeah, you know what we did? We put it on the ballot and 80 percent of the people of Arkansas voted for those fuel taxes because they wanted better roads." (ABC's "This Week," 2/11/07)
Gov. Huckabee's Campaign Chair Repeated The Claim This Morning On C-SPAN. ED ROLLINS: "And he – now he's being attacked for things like fixing the roads. The voters of Arkansas had the worst roads in the country according to 'Trucking' magazine. Truckers didn't want to go into the state. He went to the voters and he said, we have got these terrible roads. I'm going to give you an opportunity to vote a three-cent-a-gallon tax to fix the roads…" (C-SPAN's "Washington Journal," 12/31/07)
In Fact, Gov. Huckabee's Own Gubernatorial Website Contradicts The Story He's Telling Now:
In 2005, Gov. Huckabee's Website Said That The People Did Not Vote For The 1999 Fuel Tax. "The people did not vote on any of the taxes dedicated to repay these bonds. Federal gas and diesel taxes are passed and implemented by Congress, and the state funds to repay these bonds are coming from the diesel tax increase passed and implemented by the state legislature in 1999." (Gov. Mike Huckabee, "Setting The Record Straight," Press Release, 11/30/05, http://web.archive.org/web/20060926201257/www.arkansas.gov/governor/media/gems/11302005-1.html, Accessed 11/13/07)
Gov. Huckabee Has Been Misleading On The Issue:
Factcheck.org: "Not True." "Huckabee claimed a gasoline tax was only passed after 80 percent of voters approved it. Not true. The tax was enacted before a referendum vote on highway repairs." ("Huckabee's Fiscal Record," Factcheck.org, 11/21/07)
The Club For Growth Called Out Gov. Huckabee For His Misleading Statements On The Gas Tax. "While Huckabee repeatedly claims that 80% of Arkansas voters approved the gas and diesel fuel tax increases that he backed, the frequency of his repetition of this claim does not make it true. In fact, the claim is false. The Arkansas Legislature passed two bills in March of 1999 to pay for transportation projects, a gas and fuel tax hike, not subject to voter approval, and a bond issue that was contingent on voter approval. Huckabee signed the gas and diesel fuel tax increases into law on April 1, 1999; the tax hikes began taking effect that day." (Club For Growth, "Updated Huckabee White Paper," 11/13/07)
Gov. Huckabee Compromised With Democrats And De-Linked The Gas Tax From A Bond Issue:
Gov. Huckabee Agreed To A Diesel And Gasoline Tax Increase Even If His Bond Proposal Was Voted Down By The People. "But Huckabee on Thursday endorsed legislation that would impose a 3-cent tax increase on both diesel and gasoline - regardless of how the Governor's bond program fares." (David A. Lieb, "Dozen Republicans Split From Huckabee, Propose Alternative Highway Plan," The Associated Press, 2/26/99)
Gov. Huckabee's Compromise Plan Included "A Gasoline Tax Increase That Would Not Be Referred To Voters." "Gov. Mike Huckabee gave his blessing Thursday to an overhaul of his proposals for interstate repairs by including a gasoline tax increase that would not be referred to voters." (Noel E. Oman, "Huckabee Fits," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2/26/99)
In April 1999, Gov. Huckabee Signed Legislation Increasing Gas Taxes WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL:
"The Fuel Taxes Were Signed Into Law By Huckabee And Do Not Have To Go A Statewide Vote." "The bond issue is part of a highway package backed by Gov. Mike Huckabee that also includes a 4-cent diesel tax, to be phased in over two years, tax and 3-cent gas tax, to be phased in over three years. The fuel taxes were signed into law by Huckabee and do not have to go a statewide vote." ("Capitol Briefs," The Associated Press, 4/6/99)
The Vote On The Bond Proposal Was Not Tied To The Diesel And Fuel Taxes. "Although a tax increase is in the bond plan, voter approval of the bonds did not raise or lower any tax. Huckabee and the Legislature had already done that during the 1999 legislative session. They raised the diesel fuel tax 4 cents per gallon, earmarking part of that revenue to finance the bonds." (Ray Pierce And Elizabeth Caldwell, "Road Bond Issue Scores Big Win With Arkansans," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 6/16/99)
Gov. Huckabee Signed Legislation Increasing Diesel And Fuel Taxes, While Separately Issuing $575 Million Worth Of Bonds Depending Upon Voters Approval. "Gov. Mike Huckabee signed into law Thursday legislation to raise fuel taxes by $60 million a year and issue bonds worth $575 million to pay for Arkansas' first major road program since 1991. Diesel taxes go up immediately and the gasoline tax increase takes effect July 1, two weeks after voters decide whether to approve the bond issue intended to speed up repairs on the poorest stretches of interstates across the state." (James Jefferson, "Governor Signs Bills Raising Taxes, Bonds For Highway Program," The Associated Press, 4/1/99)
The People Would Have The Chance To Vote On JUST The Bond Proposal In June Of 1999. "Huckabee also set a June 15 special election for voters to decide whether to approve the bond issue, which is intended to speed up repairs on the poorest stretches of interstates across the state." (James Jefferson, "Governor Signs Bills Raising Taxes, Bonds For Highway Program," The Associated Press, 4/2/99)
In June 1999, Arkansans Voted 80% For The Highway Bond Proposal, NOT A Gas Tax:
The Vote On The Bond Proposal Would Not Impact The Tax Increases. "Voting on the bond issue would not change state tax rates. The legislature raised fuel taxes this year - 4 cents a gallon on diesel over two years, 3 cents a gallon on gasoline over three years - to hasten repairs on secondary highways and local roads." (James Jefferson, "Voters Back Huckabee's Road Plan," The Commercial Appeal, 6/16/99)
The Bond Proposal (WITH NO GAS TAX) Was Passed 80% To 20%. "Gov. Mike Huckabee's $575 million bond program to reconstruct the worst stretches of Arkansas interstates over a five-year period appeared headed for an easy victory, 80 percent to 20 percent, becoming the first road bond issue approved since 1949." (James Jefferson, "Voters Back Huckabee's Road Plan," The Commercial Appeal, 6/16/99)
Today, Romney for President launched its newest television ad, "Everywhere." The ad features Governor Romney talking with the American people about the challenges confronting our country and the need to change Washington. With an exceptional record of turning around businesses and institutions, Governor Romney is the one candidate prepared to meet today's challenges. Together, he believes we can grow the economy, stop illegal immigration, defend life and preserve our traditional values. With his experience, vision and values, Governor Romney will make Washington work again and build a brighter future for America.
The ad will begin airing today as part of the campaign's rotation in Iowa. Script and viewing links are below.
Script For "Everywhere" (TV:30):
GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: "Everywhere my family and I go we hear that America's challenges are simply too big for Washington politicians.
"I've spent my life tackling big problems – helping turn around business, the Olympics, and state government.
"Together we can grow our economy, stop illegal immigration, defend life and preserve the values that make America the hope of the earth.
"It's time to turn around Washington.
"I'm Mitt Romney, and I approve this message."
To watch "Everywhere," please see: http://tv.mittromney.com/?showid=728429
AD FACTS: Script For "Everywhere" (TV:30):
GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: "Everywhere my family and I go we hear that America's challenges are simply too big for Washington politicians. I've spent my life tackling big problems – helping turn around business, the Olympics, and state government."
Bloomberg: "Romney's business record is unmatched by the current crop of leading candidates. At Bain & Co., a Boston management- consulting firm, he founded Bain Capital LLC in 1984, which has grown into one of the nation's five largest private-equity firms. Bain currently has $40 billion in assets under management, according to its Web site." (Heidi Pryzbyla, "Romney Finds Classmate Bush's Management Lapses Unlikely Hurdle," Bloomberg, 7/1/07)
Fortune: "He is, after all, the most serious major-party presidential candidate to come out of the business world since ... well, since his father, George Romney, onetime CEO of American Motors, who ran in 1968." (Marcia Vickers, "The Republicans' Mr. Fix-It," Fortune Magazine, 6/27/07)
The Boston Globe's Robert Gavin And Sacha Pfeiffer: "In time, Romney would lead the shaky start-up from a staff of seven people managing $37 million to 115 people managing $4 billion in assets. During Romney's 15-year tenure, Bain Capital would post an astonishing record, on average doubling its return on realized investments every year." (Robert Gavin and Sacha Pfeiffer, "Reaping Profit In Study, Sweat," The Boston Globe, 6/26/07)
The Associated Press: "Romney took over as head of Salt Lake's Olympic organizing committee in February 1999 after it was revealed Salt Lake organizers doled out more than $1 million in cash and gifts to members of the International Olympic Committee to win the 2002 bid. Under Romney's leadership, the Games were lauded as a critical success, a model of post-Sept. 11 security and turned a $100 million profit. Romney, a successful venture capitalist before the Games, wrote a book after titled 'Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership and the Olympic Games.'" (Debbie Hummel, "Utah's 'Adopted Son' Returns To State For Presidential Fundraiser," The Associated Press, 2/21/07)
Portfolio's Matthew Cooper: "When Romney took over the Salt Lake Organizing Committee in 1999, the games were a scandal-plagued fiscal wreck. He made them profitable." (Matthew Cooper, "Please, Not Another M.B.A. President," Portfolio, September 2007)
The Weekly Standard's Terry Eastland: "As governor, Romney has scored another turnaround, conservative in both ends and means. Told during the campaign that he would inherit a deficit of between $500 million and $1.5 billion, Romney discovered upon taking office a $650 million deficit in fiscal 2003 and an anticipated one of $3 billion in fiscal 2004. Romney balanced the 2003 budget, and he finished 2004 with a $700 million surplus. A reviving economy helped, but Romney didn't tax or borrow, and he reduced spending through government consolidation and reform." (Terry Eastland, "In 2008, Will It Be Mormon In America?" The Weekly Standard, 6/6/05)
In Massachusetts, Governor Romney Closed A Nearly $3 Billion Shortfall Without Raising Taxes. "When Mitt Romney became governor of Massachusetts in 2003, the state had a budget gap of almost $3 billion and was losing thousands of jobs a month. In Mr. Romney's four-year tenure, the deficit was eliminated without raising the sales tax or the income tax, and since the labor slump hit bottom in December 2003, the state has gained 81,000 jobs." (Pam Belluck, "Romney Candidacy Puts Massachusetts Economy In Spotlight," The New York Times, 3/16/07)
GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: "Together we can grow our economy, stop illegal immigration, defend life and preserve the values that make America the hope of the earth. It's time to turn around Washington. I'm Mitt Romney, and I approve this message."
To read Governor Romney's plan to strengthen our economy, please see: http://mittromney.com/News/Press-Releases/Romney_Agenda_10.9.07
To read Governor Romney's plan to enforce our immigration laws, please see: http://mittromney.com/News/Press-Releases/Romney_Agenda_12.14.07
To read Governor Romney's pro-family agenda, please see:
National Review: "But [Romney] would be able to offer a persuasive outsider's critique of Washington." (Editorial, "Romney For President," National Review, 12/11/07)
To watch "Everywhere," please see: http://tv.mittromney.com/?showid=728429