Political News Summary: Feb. 11

On Thursday, former Fed chief turned leading Andersen overseer Paul Volcker will testify before the Senate Banking Committee.

And on Friday, President Bush will meet with Uruguayan President Jorge Batlle. Vice President Cheney will address the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Friday also kicks off the California Democratic Party convention in Los Angeles; Senators Daschle, Edwards and Kerry are expected to attend.

From the ABCNEWS London Bureau: Tens of thousands of Iranians, carrying anti-US placards and effigies of Uncle Sam, marched to Tehran's Freedom Square to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran. … .During a speech to thousands of people gathered at the square, President Mohammad Khatami appeared to blame US foreign policy for the September 11 attacks … Pakistani police said on Monday that the hunt for the kidnappers of US reporter Daniel Pearl is shifting to the eastern city of Lahore amid indications that their prime suspect, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, fled there from Karachi.

Campaign Finance Law Vote

The Washington Post 's Milbank on Sunday offered the best glimpse at the White House's thinking we've seen to date. "The White House has made no overtures yet to the score of GOP House members, mostly moderates, who will determine the legislation's fate. Top White House lobbyist Nicholas Calio last week signaled for the first time that the administration will get involved in this week's vote. But administration officials indicated that, while their strategy could change, any intervention would be tempered by concerns that overt opposition to campaign finance reform would focus more attention on its ties to the disgraced Enron Corp." ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A51822-2002Feb9.html )

"President Bush and his aides 'have absolutely stayed completely clear of the subject,' said Rep. Mark Foley (Fla.), one of several GOP moderates whose votes are being courted by both sides in the campaign finance debate. The absence of a veto threat by Bush or intense lobbying, Foley said, means 'it's a pass for me. If the White House isn't bellyaching, and I strongly supported it in the past, it's a much easier vote than if the president was arm-twisting.'"

"Though the administration clearly does not like the Shays-Meehan bill … .Bush aides calculate that a visible lobbying campaign against it would further bind the White House to the hundreds of thousands of dollars Enron and its executives gave to Bush's campaigns."

Alison Mitchell in the New York Times today leads off what is sure to be a week of mega-coverage in the Paper of Record for Campaign Finance Reform with the fact that the party campaign committees have been raising a lot of money this cycle, at least in part as a hedge against something passing. ( http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/11/politics/11DONA.html )

Also, she previews the GOP strategy to stop Shays-Meehan: "[L]oad the Shays-Meehan bill with amendments until it becomes so different from the Senate- passed bill that the measures will have to go to a House-Senate conference committee. Representative Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, even hinted today on NBC's 'Meet the Press' that the Republicans might try to amend the bill so that it has even more stringent limits on money in politics than the current bill has."

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