The Note

"With a rare opportunity to make a significant monetary contribution to the political candidate of her choice, single mother and full time employee Erica Derr has written a check to Dean for America for the full amount of her tax credit refund, $400.00."

"Ms. Derr says, 'Howard Dean shares my priorities for a safer, healthier, more honest America and that's why I'm sending President Bush's tax cut money to him.'"

The self-referential press release accompanied a letter from Derr addressed to President Bush:

"Thank you for this tax refund that I did not ask for. Since I had expected to pay my fair share of taxes in return for which I expected you and the Congress to work together to maintain funding for vital programs … I am now sending this money to the presidential candidate who will manage our budget in a more appropriate and secure fashion, Governor Howard Dean."

Beneath her signature, she lists as her title, "Patriotic American."

One self-identified Vermonter who doesn't like Dean wrote a letter to the Daily Iowan: "I would like the people of Iowa to see the true face of Howard Dean before his campaign workers put so much lipstick on the pig that he becomes unrecognizable. The people of Iowa should know that, thanks to Dean and his cronies in the Vermont Legislature, family farms in Vermont are going out of business at a rate never before seen in the state's history. Property taxes have risen to a point where people are being taxed out of their homes and off their land, and working people cannot afford even the most basic of services." LINK "Dean has used our tax dollars to fund a rail service that has no passengers, a bike path that is so over budget it cannot be completed, and an educational system that consistently produces high-school graduates who cannot make change for a dollar nor find the United States on a map of the world if it were the only country outlined in red."

"Albert Reil Morrisville, Vt., resident"

House of Labor:

The AP's Leigh Strope reports, "One of the nation's largest unions is forming a rival political organization to mobilize Democratic voters, especially minorities, in next year's election." LINK "Working America Alliance, founded by Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, is the product of a feud with Steve Rosenthal, former AFL-CIO political director who created the Partnership for America's Families."

More: "The groups will pool unions' substantial dollars that, before the new campaign finance law, would have been spent as unlimited soft-money donations to the Democratic Party to mobilize voters."

And more: "The labor groups join another Democratic nonprofit, Moving America Forward, formed by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to raise money to recruit Hispanics and American Indians."

"Meanwhile, the Teamsters union is considering its own political nonprofit that would support moderate Democrats and those who oppose free-trade policies."

Gephardt:

Make it 8+ … Today, the Seafarers International Union of North America; American Maritime Officers and the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association are all expected to Dick Gephardt for president.

The closing of the textile company Pillowtex Corp. is huge news in North Carolina, and for Richard Gephardt, it turned into a sparring ground on the issue of free trade, the Raleigh News & Observer reported. LINK

Graham:

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