35 days until the Iowa caucuses
Rudy Giuliani will have some explaining to do at Wednesday's CNN/YouTube debate in the wake of Ben Smith's Politico report that the former New York mayor allegedly misused public funds to pay for secret trips to the Hamptons with his mistress, future wife and possible First Lady Judith Nathan.
The allegations, if true, could blow a huge hole into some of the major themes Giuliani has based his campaign on: law and order, defeating corruption, and accountability.
The documents, obtained by Politico under New York's Freedom of Information Law, show that the mayoral costs of the trips to the Hamptons had nothing to do with the functions of the little-known city offices they were charged to, including agencies responsible for regulating loft apartments, aiding the disabled and providing lawyers for indigent defendants.
Rep. Peter King, R-NY, a surrogate of Rudy Giuliani, reacted to the Politico story late Wednesday.
"First of all I can assure you, all the details will come out. I can absolutely assure you of this. The mayor did absolutely nothing improper, he did everything appropriate, the NYPD did everything appropriate. And even if you read the story carefully it does not say the mayor billed anyone for anything. But again, Mayor Giuliani and his staff, city hall will give a definitive answer. But I can assure you now that everything was done properly and there is absolutely nothing to it."
At the time, the mayor's office refused to explain the accounting to city auditors, citing "security." You can read the article here:
As for Thursday, the main event comes when Sen. Barack Obama heads uptown for a fundraiser on former President Bill Clinton's turf.
The self-described "skinny kid with the funny name" takes to the same stage where clowns boo talent-less Apollo performers at 7:00 pm ET. Roughly 1,400 people and a dozen or so elected officials will be on hand.
On Wednesday, Obama scoffed at Bill Clinton's Tuesday claim that he opposed the Iraq war "from the beginning." "Well if he did," said Obama, "I don't think most of us have heard about it."
Senator Clinton, meanwhile, is out on the Left Coast attending the 5:00 pm ET Global Summit on AIDS at Pastor Rick Warren's church in Lake Forest, Calif. Obama attended Warren's conference last year.
The Firefighters for Dodd Iowa bus tour kicks off tomorrow with a 10:00 am ET stop in Council Bluffs and a 6:30 pm stop in Sioux City. Hoping to lift Dodd the way they did John Kerry, Thursday's GOTV efforts are just the start of an eight-day bus trip.
Rick Klein, author of the Note, live blogs during tonight's debate. Join in here.
As for the rest of tomorrow's schedule.
The Republicans. . .
-- No public events
--No public events, spends the day in Florida with stops in Coral Gable and Boca Raton
-- Media availability, St. Petersburg, FL
--Attends finance event in Boca Grande, FL
--Attends finance event in Naples, FL
--Attends finance event in Estero, FL
--Attends finance event in Bonita Springs, FL
-- Attends a lunch fundraiser, Phoenix, AZ (closed press)
---2:30 pm ET: Holds media availability, Phoenix, AZ
-Attends an evening fundraiser, Las Vegas, NV (closed press)
The Democrats. . .