As Vice President Cheney emerges from the shadows to become more active and visible in the Bush-Cheney '04 re-election campaign, Peter Wallsten of the Los Angeles Times Notes that "oddly, both Democrats and Republicans are happy about it." LINK
Wallsten looks at the strategies of both parties when it comes to Cheney's role in the campaign — "a gamble for both sides," as the campaign sends Cheney out on the road this weekend on a bus tour and as Democrats use the Vice President to rally their supporters in the party's efforts to defeat President Bush.
The biggest news in Alan Cooperman's story on BC04's plan to motivate religious voters is somewhat buried:
"A spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service, Frank Keith, said, 'It would be inappropriate for the IRS, based on a limited set of facts and circumstances, to render a judgment about whether the activities in this document would or would not endanger a church's tax-exempt status.'" LINK "He pointed out, however, that the IRS on June 10 sent a strongly worded letter to both the Republican and Democratic national committees, reminding them that tax-exempt charitable groups 'are prohibited from directly or indirectly participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office.'"
Democrats walk a fine line here — while attempting to use churches for political activity outrages many of them legitimately, they are wary of being perceived as anti-religious — and also worry that some of their own, less-than-fully-vetted political action will come to the fore.
That said, the story suggests that the campaign is coming close to the barrier, particularly if pastors sanction activity that indirectly benefits BC04. But they're not there yet.
The Washington Post 's Thomas Edsall reports on the RNC's "Super Rangers," a new elite group of 62 fundraisers "who have replaced the high-dollar corporate, union and wealthy donors of the past." LINK
Edsall runs down the different titles (and the dollar amounts they have to raise) for these high-level fundraisers: The DNC has "Trustees" ($250,000) and "Patriots" ($100,000); BC04 has "Rangers" ($200,000) and "Pioneers" ($100,000); and Senator Kerry has "vice chairs" ($100,000) and "co-chairs" ($50,000).
The Washington Post 's David Broder examines the alliance between President Bush and British Prime Minister Blair, which "both supporters and opponents of Blair's government, consider the strangest and most politically provocative personal alliance in the world." LINK The New York Times ' Maureen Dowd Notes "the president acted as if Iraq was in control, but our forces can't come home because Iraq's still out of control." LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Senator John Kerry:
ABC's Dan Harris reports that Senator John Kerry's campaign will announce today that they've raised $175 million since the cycle began, including $30 million in June. The campaign says that $100 million came from grassroots donors. The average donation is about $100. Bank of America, who processes JohnKerry.com credit card requests, was allegedly overwhelmed with contributions yesterday and had to shut down for seven minutes due to an overload.
We wonder: what's behind the latest spike in donations? Fahrenheit 9/11? Mary Beth Cahill's wonderful solicitation e-mails? Moveon.org synergy?